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Rattling (poem)

November 30, 2015

CN: my fucking family, VAWG, incest, sexual assault.

The door to my room is white, wooden. With glass panels, up and down.

The light of the city comes through the window with the mellow rumble of trains, traffic, tube lines. The constant rhythm of north London noise.

I know what he wants. From the other side of the glass. Wants to be by my side. In my bed. Where siblings should fear to tread.

I do.

He doesn’t care.

My bedroom curtains are never closed. On the third floor facing back over the west coast railway line and the overground bit of the Piccadilly. A panorama of streetlights and sunrises, there is no one to look but me.

He’s been trying to get in for a while now. I told him no, and this time, I managed to kick him out.

Leaning on the door as it shudders, I wonder what it will take to convince my parents that the lock I want is to keep my brother out, not other boys in.

A commuter train rattles past, its tempo so different from the high speed rich seats on their way to Manchester.

The pressure on the door stops. I ignore the answering build up in my eyes.

I sit down. My back to the door. Trace wood grain through white paint. Try to lose myself in the soothing steel music of rails that has been my lullaby for so long.

I almost miss him coming back up the stairs.

I’m scared, my back against the glass. Where is my mother?

It shudders. The glass. The door. My core.

He has a weapon.

An old dial telephone, it’s a good weight, and it swings well.

It hits again. He’s definitely aiming for my shadow.

Again. Again. The glass cracks against my back.

By the time my memory returns to me, there’s black tape on the shatter lines.

The next week, I get a small hook for my door. The comfort is paper thin.

The glass remains unchanged for the years until I move out at 18.


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  1. So sorry *hugs offered*

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