Patrice Boyer Claeys
The soft click of the double-locked back door
sends him to his feet, unslippered
beneath bare legs and rumpled nightshirt.
Down the spiral stairs to the kitchen.
She is here again.
Her blue cellphone light at the foot of my bed shades
her dark form, hunched and muffled in damp fleece.
Is it OK if we stay here till morning?
she asks, haltingly, and leaves the room.
Downstairs he assumes the panic position,
pacing with hands on head, elbows cracked back
and angled, framing the circle of his mouth
open in shock at this recurring scene.
He hands me my purse for a wallet check.
Two twenties gone, both inside her pocket.
They’re mine, Mom, swear to God, crumpling
the bills in her palm. Change from a Wal-Mart run.
Now she says they won’t stay. Another lie.
She’s got the money in hand.
Outside her child sleeps in the running car.
About the writer:
Patrice Boyer Claeys started writing poetry after a career in publishing and public relations. Her work has been featured in many print and online journals, including Light: A Journal of Photography and Poetry, Beech Street Review and Bird’s Thumb, among others. She reads for the Mom Egg Review and has been nominated for Best of the Net.
Image: “Burning of the Witch” by Erna Rosenstein (May 17, 1913 – November 10, 2004). Rosenstein was a surrealist painter and poet. She was the daughter of an Austrian judge, born into a Jewish family in the town of Lemberg, Austria-Hungary, now Львів in Ukraine. From the collection in the Zachęta National Gallery in Warsaw. By permission via Wikimedia Commons.