One of Big Tent Poetry prompts for NaPoWriMo this week is, “Write a poem about being small.” I spent five years as a detective working juvenile cases: everything from juveniles committing crimes to juveniles being the victims of crimes. Unfortunately, with that background, the first thing that popped into me mind was this.

By Mike Patrick

Flickr image by Mark Turner

The door slams. He’s home.
The house goes quiet.
On silent feet, I grab my toys
and silently place them in the box.
No time . . . there’s no time,
he’s home early.
Footsteps . . . up the stairs
and down the hall.
The floor creaks outside my door.
I crawl behind the bed
and curl into a little ball.
God, make me small,
make me smaller,
make me disappear,
take me away,
put me anywhere but here.
“Jiiimmmmy.” It’s his sweet voice,
the one he uses when he’s angry.
He’s always angry.
Heavy steps into my room.
He’s here.
From between the fingers
covering my eyes, I see him.
Smiling, he stands there
gently swinging his belt.
God, please make me small.

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7 Responses to THE DOOR SLAMS

  1. vivinfrance says:

    I can’t click ‘like’ because of the subject matter: but the poem is successful – you made me cringe in fear.

  2. Marianne says:

    Incredibly sad. Child abuse is a heinous crime. You’ve told the story very well.

  3. pamela says:

    Mike, this was effective in making me feel the child’s fear. I don’t understand child abuse. I am sure you had some difficult cases in your line of work.


  4. Cheryl says:

    Once again,you break my heart,and bring to mind bad memories,that go on still. Very good writing Mike.

  5. earlybird says:

    Very effective. Horrible. I held my breath.

  6. torquethis says:

    It is so unfortunate that there is actually children that feel this way.

    Very strong words and imagery here.

  7. Tilly Bud says:

    I clicked ‘like’ but for the powerful poem, not the subject matter. Your best yet.

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