An Evening in England - 1974

It’s so gray and damp as I stare out the glass,
A window, tall and drafty barely holding the weather out.
I press my head against the cold pane,
Drifting off to imaginations of a different world.

I dream and create a life where I am loved;
The sun shines and warms my face.
What is that? My stomach growls and turns;
Back to reality where hunger ravages me.

Tears force themselves from the corners of my eyes,
I swallow and flare my nostrils to squelch the sadness.
Will I ever make it to a day without this?
A day where food is a given, and love is too?

I don’t think so, I know what happens now.
The bar is about to close, 15, maybe 20 minutes.
He’ll pull in and ascend the stairs.
“Here are some Cheez-Its, get me a beer”.

I retreat to bed, dressed for warmth and protection.
I stare at the wallpaper, listening for the snoring,
Please start snoring, then I can go to sleep.
No snoring, I fight to stay awake…and listen.

Oh God, No! The footsteps, I hear them.
Slow, almost shuffling, down the hall.
Quick! Feign sleep, roll onto my stomach.
I CAN make him believe I’m asleep, THIS time!

I can smell him, cigarettes and beer on his breath.
He leans down to listen…taps my shoulder.
I ignore him, “please give up and go away”.
He whispers: “I know you’re awake”

I die a little more as my insides scream!