Christmas Eve

by Casey Dare

the smooth bore, breech-loaded, single barrel shotgun
bangs an answer to the whispered questions—
why do they fight?
why does mama cry?
is he still hitting her?
Why won’t someone help us?

cold December night lit by lights on the evergreen trees,
blues reds whites blinking against the silent black night
chipping at the moral ice holding the home distant from
other nearby homes, while inside three children huddled
hands over ears waiting for the ringing to clear
after that single loud bang ripped away their innocence–
the flash pops against the night white light that fades to black,
sepia-toned photo frozen in memory and pain,
flash and bang that sent a man to his grave;

Christmas Eve, oldest child hauled off by police
younger children watching in silence, crying
but shedding no more tears.

Category: Poetry, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing, SNHU Student