At Midnight

at midnight
bad news on the doorstep
fistfuls of purple blooms
birds fell from flight
trees faltered
limbs broke
a mortal forest in flames
no one heard anything
I can’t remember if I cried
birds fell from flight
halfway through that horror
I stopped breathing
he saved me and
we sang dirges in the dark
fistfuls of purple blooms
bad news on the doorstep
at midnight

Brenda Warren 2016

Notes: Elizabeth’s prompt was too dang hard for me, so I went my own route with it as a backbone. Three phrases from American Pie are in this piece: bad news on the doorstep, we sang dirges in the dark, and I can’t remember if I cried. Elizabeth also provided six words we could use in our work. I used halfway, midnight, mortal, purple, and forest.

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Three Crows

There’s a bird that nests inside you
Sleeping underneath your skin.
~ Adam Duritz

A scarce rain slapped the side of the hospital in sheets.
He sat, rooted in a chair near a window.

His spirit eroded as he imagined
cells from his loins scraped from his
girlfriend’s womb like vegetation detached at its roots.
His first child killed, like one sorry weed.

Afterward, she had no strength for talking.
Three crows perched on her Jeep’s
roll bar and she shooed them
away, as the last of his
mercy wove a path into oncoming darkness
then shattered glass against her heart.

Those three crows came up each time
his fist revisited her face.

“You shooed off

*punch*

our family

*punch*

sure as you shooed off

*punch*

them crows.”

She took it until her own soul shattered,

then left him, trying to piece together
the jagged shards of everything she once was.

Brenda Warren 2013

Battered Blues

When my baby hit me, he blackened both my eyes.
When my baby hit me, he blackened both my eyes.
Got me wearing dark sunglasses, beneath these cloudy skies.

Said he’d never lay a hand on me, yet this is what he’s done.
Said he’d never lay a hand on me, yet this is what he’s done.
Thought he’d lay off when the doctor said I’m carrying his son.

His body goes ballistic he explodes in purple rage.
His body goes ballistic he explodes in purple rage.
then he showers me with presents, the presents build a cage

Tonight he’ll bring me roses red and love me slow and deep.
Tonight he’ll bring me roses red and love me slow and deep,
but the rod he puts inside me, has sown its final seed

I’m visiting my sister soon she’s giving me a gun.
I’m visiting my sister soon she’s giving me a gun.
I’ll make his boy a bastard. No, he’ll never know his son.

Brenda Warren 2012

NaPoWriMo 5