Fear's End

by Helen Losse

Shortly after midnight, Martinís sleep was	
broken.  Lifting the receiver, bone-tired:
Listen, nigger.

Alone, though his wife
slept beside him, fear drove him
from their bed.  The night was filled
with unbearable silence.

Struggling, pacing nervously,
moving from hall to kitchen,

putting the kettle on the stove
by instinct, walking back and forth,
softly, so as not to wake
the baby, trying to sort
muddled thoughts, to drive away spasms
of godless panic.
Hot coffee cools quickly.

He sat alone at that kitchen table,
eyes downcast, hands clasped.

Grace still amazes.

Fear's End by Helen Losse

© Copyright 2000. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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