A digital sketch of a male profile in green and black

Prisoners of the Storm

A white kitten

given to me
by an elderly
woman
who always
sat in her
garden;
she stank
of
rose-water
and
wisteria.

That night it
stormed and
the kitten
cried.

It got on Daddy’s
nerves, he said, so
he put the kitten
outside
on the porch
in the storm.

The next
morning
I found it
wet and
shivering
where it
had fallen
through a
hole in

the porch.

I wrapped it
in towels

and sat with it
by a heater

and held it
while it

shivered until
it died.

What can I say
to you Daddy,
now as dead
as my kitten?

I did not give
you the honor
of a Son’s
good-bye.

Somehow, I kept
that storm in my
mind

And locked you
into it


(c) Robert Goldstein 2014-2017 All rights reserved

 

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28 thoughts on “Prisoners of the Storm

  1. To know the kitten died in your arms tears at my heart. Leaves a pit in my stomach. That kitten died knowing it was loved. That is THE most important thing. Your father’s influence did nothing to change the purity of your own heart and that is beyond inspirational and gives me faith in the future of neglected and abused children.
    I know this.
    They cannot change our hearts. They just can’t!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think he knew the kitten would die or if he did I don’t think he cared. It’s the ghost of a moment in time that lives in a poem on this blog. I really need to be better about trigger warnings. The good news is this doesn’t pain me any more. 🙂

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      1. I have many ghosts in the poems of my blog that do not bother me anymore and yet I write about them because it gives them a sort of closure and no more storage in my brain!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The elderly woman who gave me the kitten asked about it and I told her it had died but didn’t tell her why; she wouldn’t have believed me. She blamed me for its death. She said I didn’t take care of it.

      This is one of the reasons I experience our abusive politics in the United States as a child and an adult.

      What is it like to be a child who sees adults do nothing to protect them as other children gunned down in
      their churches and schools?

      What is it like to be a child who listens as the President berates a member of Congress with racist slurs.

      How do we raise civilized children in a nation run by barbarians?

      Today on the bus I heard a little boy tell his Mother he doesn’t want to
      go to school because he doesn’t want to die.

      I felt terrible for him.

      I have a functioning adult mind but the child in me is horrified.

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