she was looking but not looking

 

just beyond the naked boys

being beaten by their mother

an angry monster

with a smoker's cackle

 

and in this way the

boys looked only like

twisted shadows of pain

cast against the wall

 

she was listening but not listening

 

to the sounds of abuse

a dark tune in her head

the steady beat of leather

against broken flesh

 

and in this way the

piercing wails seemed

more like high pitched echoes

ringing from afar

 

she was there but not there

 

bearing witness to nothing

anyone cared about -

was it a secret if no one

wanted to know?

 

and in this way it

never really happened

not even when she tried

to mention it to her parents

 

she learned but did not comprehend

 

years later, the allegory of

the caves, which for her classmates

was just a theory, but for her

was her childhood, her world

 

quavering shadows on a dim wall

distorted echoes of reality

her place among the darkly chained

what she knew about life for so long

 

 

Janet McGinness read National Geographic as a girl, wore the same jacket every day of junior high, was blown away by SI Hayakawa’s Language in Thought and Action in high school and memorized passages from Faulkner during college. She hasn’t changed much.

 

IN MEMORIAM PEGGY

Janet McGinness

COPYRIGHT 2018 LITERARY JUICE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Poetry

        April 2018

Produced from 100% Everything

Literary Juice