Waiting for the Monster


the cries echoed throughout

the silent house –

silent except for

the thumping and yelling,

and the weeping of the

two girls huddled together

in the bed,

crying and holding each other,

not knowing what to do

how to help

whom to ask to save them,

to save their mother


the older girl prayed

as the tears spilled

from her tightly shut eyes –

she wished she could

shut her ears just as tightly –

our Father, who art in Heaven…

deliver us from evil…

sadly, it didn’t work –

but then, it never did,

and this saddened her

more than she could

ever admit – to anyone


upstairs the sounds of

fighting continued –

bodies hitting the floor,

fists hitting softer flesh,

the sobbing of her mother

and her pleas for mercy…

the rejection of those pleas

expressed physically

as well as verbally


the older girl held

her little sister close,

patting her hair,

whispering words of comfort,

words that she knew

were lies, but all

she could think to do –

when suddenly

the noises stopped


the little one had

at last fallen into

an exhausted sleep,

so the older girl

covered her gently

with a blanket

and slid out of bed,

creeping quietly

to her bedroom door –

hearing nothing,

she tiptoed to the

bottom of the stairs

wondering what to do


should I go up

and check on her?

was she okay?

had he killed her?

why was it so quiet?


afraid to cause

more problems,

afraid to leave her mother

alone at the hands

of the monster,

afraid to leave

her sister…

just plain afraid,

she dithered for

a few moments

then reluctantly crept back

to her bedroom,

sitting on the floor

by her bed

where she could

keep watch on her sister

as well as monitor

the stairs in case

her mother managed

to escape the monster


sitting there,

nightgown pulled down,

her arms wrapped

around her knees,

she rocked back and forth






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