The Grammar of Abuse.

Dsc02480by Michelle Seyner15 Mar 2020

I was born into a family
of broken people
who demolished every brick
that could have been turned
into a solid building.
To them, self-reflection
showed only other faces
in their mirror
and none of their flaws
and none of their wrong-doings
ever carried anything different
than other people's names.

Living there was like
being forced to keep
running a race,
up a steep mountain
walking backwards
and blindfolded
in a fucking snow-storm,
hoping I'd fall upwards,
questionmarking
my own sanity
all the while...

It was teaching myself
to hear the tripwire
within each syllable's
exclamation point,
diving into each word
for the stocked pantry
of hidden meanings

learning the grammar
of each facial expression,
acknowledging how every comma
is followed by an accusation
and each period
begins a new sentence
of pain.

But no matter how fluent
I got in the adjectives of threat
and the nouns of humiliation,
the grammar
still and always
spelled
inevitable abuse.

15 March 2020.
Michelle Seyner.