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.