The prompt for this, the 17th day of the poem-a-day challenge, is dancing. I’ve already done two on dancing this month, so I had to think about a different kind of dance.

There’s the dance of fear in a home when one of the parents is abusive. In a dysfunctional family, one learns how to read the slightest signs of an impending explosion, and adjusts accordingly. This is why sometimes people seem to overreact when something small happens that might mean nothing to someone else. Give them a break. You don’t know what their background might be.


Dancing with a Bully

A fraught moment, full of fear. Silence. Tension in the air.
Anger brewing, scent of beer, children cringing from his stare.
Waiting for the shoe to drop, the strain becomes unbearable.
He approaches, whispers stop. His expression’s terrible.
Then he grins and cracks a joke, relief sweeps through the household.
Til the next time rage invokes, and the fresh new hell unfolds.


If you are in an abusive relationship, there is help. Please be careful getting that help.

Safety Alert: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.


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