AbstentionMature

A piece I wrote in Abstention. Thoughts?

Sometimes, I read poetry to kill the noise

of the rowdy children in my basement.

They wake up in the middle of the night;

Smelling desire, like bacon, to their nostrils.

They want out to race to the plates of food.

They want out. They want out.

I don't know how to tell them that they can't.

Please, not now. Not ever.

But I know I can't deter them forever.

"Let us out,  Papa! Let us out, Father!"

They bang against the locked door,

In a room where there is no hunger,

No need for salvation, no sin.

They want out. They want out.

"Please, Daddy! We want some! it smells so good!"

"You should be asleep!" I yell at the throbbing door.

"But we want some! We want it!"--It's a chorus to them.

"No, little ones! No!"

"We'll be good! We promise!"

I try to find something to hold to,

I try to ignore their pleas of helplessness,

Trying to find reasons to stay my hand from the knob,

Not to fling open the door and let them have their way.

I secretly adore the sound of their voice in my ears,

How it kisses my cheek and eyes,

And bounces on my spine.

"We'll be good, Papa!"

Oh, how that name breaks my heart. Which one

said it? Oh, that wouldn't matter--

I haven't named anyone of them yet.

I want to see them; I've never seen them.

Oh, how that reality breaks my heart.

I lean my head against the cool porcelain sink,

My fingers caressing the worn metal pipe.

Maybe it'll be alright, this time--

Maybe I don't have to fight, this time--

"Papa, please?"

I crawl to the throbbing door,

A few million desperate children on the other side,

Screaming for air, crying for a chance to stretcth their legs,

And some bacon, and tell me about their dreams,

Who they would have been.

I pull out my book of poetry,

Leaning my head against the other side of the door.

"It's alright," I say.  "Daddy's here."

I read them Oscar Wilde, who sang songs of worlds they've never seen.

I recite Walt Whitman, who rouses everyone's spirits.

I read and recite and analyze and talk with them,

Thought they can't understand,

Until the chatter dies

And they crawl back

Back to their beds.

I press my ear.

"Night, Papa..."

"...dreamt..."

"...apa..."

The End

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