Her and Him

By R. Todd Fredrickson

              

-her and him-

Born of a quiet nature

they called me shy.

I know now

I was simply trying to stay out of the fire, 

self-preservation.

I am five,

maybe six, nobody seems to recall

that time.

Pictures from then depict eyes of ghosts.

 

The separation

was swift,

like the removal of a scab from a heel

when taking off a sock.

 

There is pain,

but it’s unclear why.

 

During rare visits with her

I feel like a stranger,

but things seem normal for them

already.

 

When the visit is over

my brother and I are picked up by him,

the car smells like stale booze

and his eyes are filled with rage.

He is angry because we waved

goodbye

to our other family,

which includes her

new man.

 

I go hungry that night

because the half empty bottle of something

has coaxed him to sleep,

and I had learned by then

not to poke the bear.


About The Author

R. Todd Fredrickson is a northwest author living in Snohomish County, Washington. For more information follow him on twitter at:

www.twitter.com/rtfredrickson