Happily Ever After

Tonight the dogs fought,

Sounding all at once

Like a thousand people screaming

And a flight of hundreds of crows taking off,

Their wings smacking the air

All at once in a horrendous cacophony of noise:

This is what violence sounds like.


As my mother cried,

I washed the blood off the wall,

Thinking I’d scrub until I couldn’t hear it anymore-

The sound, for some reason,

That reminded me of the nights I heard

Muffled words behind closed doors

That were unintelligible

But radiated enough heat to make me think

Of rich reds and dark grays;

Not realizing until years later

That this was the sound

Of divorce brewing.


It was the same sound I heard

At the college parties I went to

As a naïve high-school girl:

The dark apartment crowded with noise

Bursting with bass and voices and intoxication

Until somebody opened the door to let some out,

And just left it open, and nobody noticed.

The same as nobody noticed

The girl too young to be there

Drinking too much,

Going upstairs with a guy

Who was too old for her

To be going upstairs with.


It was the same sound I recognized

The time I heard a crash

And realized it was my fender

Bending to fit anothers’,

The sound that reminded me

Of the airbag’s dust on my nose,

Of the fear so strong

That I forgot to put the car in park

so it wouldn’t roll down the hill

as the cab filled up with smoke.


My version of a fairy tale

Is a prince who always comes

When he hears the sound.

Before it splatters all over the wall,

Before the whispers turn into fights,

Before the girl goes upstairs,

Before the cars collide,

He'll be there.


He comes on a white horse he calls Truth,

Armed with golden plates of Courage

And a sword of Serenity

And when he gets there,

He falls to his knees,

And he gives them to me.


He says,

“You don’t have to do this alone,”

And I believe him.

We climb onto his white horse called Truth

And ride off into a pink sunset,

Following the sounds of violence

To find broken young girls,

To teach them what Love sounds like,

And how to use their Bravery and Serenity.


We ride through all the land

Bringing the good news

Until there isn’t a soul who hasn’t heard.

And when the sun rises over the mountains,

I'll realize the sound that once rang in my ears is gone,

And I'll lean back in the arms of a prince

Who knows the real meaning

Of happily ever after.

This poem is about: 
My family
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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