dutiful shame

he told me to get the hammer
i’m not sure why he needed it
during lunch, but i went to get it
i might get in trouble, it’s got some muck
but i’m not supposed to touch
the tools unless requested

he looks grim, i better hurry
i guess i’ll follow him now
into the barn, and oh i hear
little meows from somewhere

“wait right here, I don’t want you
to see this” father said
and he climbed up to the loft
my mouth dropped open
i fell to my knees
as he used the hammer
on the kittens
their pain cut my soul

“we don’t need more cats” father said
as he climbed down the ladder
“try to remember,
life has tough lessons” father said
“now get”

in a blind rush
i fled the barn
and finished my chores
no one spoke of that moment
that lesson
for the rest of my life

i wish i had
tried to stop him

image titled 'Alice in Wonderland: The Carpenter - Betrayal' by Brandon Christopher Warren on flicker

About Kary

I write many things, prose, poems, flash fiction, short stories, novellas, and novels. Feedback welcome. View all posts by Kary

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