Run Ways



The hamburger patty landed in the snow
flung from the kitchen window
as she yelled out toward the garage
“I told you to come in for dinner!”

Really, it was an Oreo cookie
making a black circle in the deep white
their budget far too lean
to waste good ground beef over a point

The kids dove for cover under Formica
as the door flew open
slamming against the wall
steel-toed boots leaving a contrail on the vinyl

He came at her with clenched fists
and an open mouth
she threw the fry pan at his head
as their children huddled under the table

Above their small heads
their plates sat cooling
ketchup red as blood untouched
as dishes and profanities flew

For most of her life that remained
the youngest was accused of mumbling
her words too soft on the air
for them to discern

She always worrying
if the volume increased
things could take flight
and leave no safe place to land


Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 4




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