The Woods

When Daddy went into the woods

We thought he would never come back

His stumbling walk and slurring talk

And recent heart attack

He made it into the trees

Without tripping over himself

And as he disappeared

We toasted his good health

My mother cracked open a bottle

We had a party that night

When Daddy went into the woods

We drank until first light

We didn’t expect the door

To open again in the morning

We barely had five seconds

A screaming voice; our warning

He held a gun in his hand

And my sister’s hair in his other

She squirmed in his grip, he threatened to rip

Her head off in front of her mother

He took them both away

Into the upstairs room

And that’s when I ran, past his outstretched hand

A shot rang out in the gloom

When Daddy went into the woods

He carried my body in pieces

He buried me variously, often quite carelessly

Food for the birds and the beasties.

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