Attic

Tonight, Dad’s at a convention
and Mom’s in a department
meeting. My sister and I play something
close to poker while our brother sleeps
at Mike Chinooga’s house.
When we need more cards
we look in Dad’s desk.

My sister’s downstairs
when a man knocks
on the window.

The attic window.

He calls my name.
Spins a flashlight.
Calls my name again.

I hide in the back, under
some old blankets.

My sister comes back and I pull her
in just before the flashlight
touches her. He shouts
some more.
We make beds
from Dad’s old suits.

When I’m ready to face him
the room is bright.
One thin shoeprint stares
at me on the shingles, but it’s gone
when I come back
with my sister.

It takes two days before we realize
we can’t tell this story to strangers.

Added: March 4, 2013 | Last changed: June 7, 2014