If I Don’t Come Home In Time

I pull into the drive after a long day at work.

I am tired and hungry.

It is dark and silent.

I turn the key in the ignition.

I shut off the lights-

But I don’t leave the car.

 

I place both hands on the top of the wheel

And rest my head upon hands.

I breathe slowly, in and out.

I unbuckle my seat belt and gather my things.

I open my car door and step out of my refuge.

I mentally brace myself for what I may find.

 

Three steps to the back door.

I fumble the key into the lock and turn.

The door opens,

I call to you.

You answer and I am relieved.

Tomorrow the process will repeat again.

 

As long as you answer I know you are here.

As long as you answer I know you are alive.

As long as you answer I know you won the fight.

 

I fear for the day you don’t reply.

I fear for the day I walk through the kitchen

Down the dark hall

Into the room and find you there:

Sprawled on the bed

Surrounded by bottles-

Perhaps covered in blood-

With gun in hand

staring blankly at the white ceiling

with dark, unseeing eyes.

I fear for the day I don’t come home in time.

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