General Poetry posted August 11, 2022

This work has reached the exceptional level
Serving a father milk

Glass of Milk

by Sandra Nelms-Ludwig

Her father loved a daily glass of cold whole milk.
Sometimes an AM glass with breakfast
or a PM glass before bed.
She carefully poured his PM glass not wasting a drop.
He hated waste and she wanted to avoid being whupped.
Looking furtively over both shoulders,
she slowly unwrapped the scrap of brown paper bag and poured
two heaping tablespoons of a secret ingredient
into the filled glass.

When one lives in the boondocks
field mice wander into houses seeking shelter as winter nears.
Country folks place mousetraps and rat poison out to keep them at bay.
It is a common ritual.
She had earlier scooped her added surprise
from one of several small aluminum foil trays of rat poison
that sat in the corners throughout the house.
She now slowly stirred it into his milk.

Her fathered yelled from the parental bedroom.
“What’s taking so long? Bring me my milk!”
“Yes suh, I’m coming,” she answered.
Scared she reconsidered her plan.
Maybe, it would not work.
Maybe, he would not die.
Maybe, he would, and her Mama would be blamed.

Her ten-year-old hands shook as she carried the glass of milk.
Before crossing the threshold into his room, she dropped the glass.
It broke and milk pooled around her feet.
Stomping from the room he screamed at her.
In one swift motion he removed his belt
and whupped welts down her arms and legs.
Whimpering she cleaned up her mess.


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© Copyright 2022. Sandra Nelms-Ludwig All rights reserved.
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