Hide and Seek with Father

Glenn Milich

Today he closed the car door wrong

              – I heard from all the way inside –
And precious seconds had we, to hide,
knowing father’s anger wouldn’t hesitate to spill
over skinny bodies encased in curtain folds.

Forgetting toys and ‘what if’ games
young lungs we forced to still.
And waited,
watching angry shadows play across the fabric.
And feared,
still knowing the day would end in swollen faces stained with tears
and shaky polaroids hidden under closet boards by a mother
who forgot and forgave on nights that ended in bedtime stories.

On days when the car door closed right.