Bloody Scary

It was time to slow things down

Take a breath and work out what was

Happening now

Not work out how this started

Not apportion right and wrong

Not the time to cut and run

But to get a grip on fear

Pay attention

Despite four pints of beer


I sobered up; as we all did

Except the one who now didn’t care

Overwhelming anger spilling over

From his child not so very deep inside

I heard that dreadful silence build

Saw burning tears on purpled face

Speechless rage about to boil

From his deep poisoned well


My right leg gave a fragile twitch

Listen, listen, listen, watch

What’s the issue? When to speak?

Do not touch, don’t interrupt

But don’t stand back

Don’t let someone get hurt

The young barman did his job

“I can’t serve you, sir

Your friend’s drunk.”


And then the pacing

To the door and back again

This little boy won’t get his way

How does this feel?

The denial of simple wants

Prickling heat on reddened skin

Wrapped and twisted in barbed wire

Would he quench or spit out fire?


I imagined mirrors in shards

Shattered wood

Smashed glasses

Breaking bottles

I heard it all, the shouts

Women’s screams

Alarm bells, sirens

Police radios

My fear unbound


But fear kept me there

A greater fear of sliding off

Leaving them at this

When things might get rough

More powerful than getting hurt

The thought of being thought weak

Not standing with, not side by side

These two brothers I’d just met


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 29 prompt: Meditate on an emotion

CLP 29/04/2019