by Akula Sharma

You walked out in a miserable coat,
With holes and threads coming out.
Mornings full of frost, month of July.
Inside the house without the heating,
It feels so bitter and cold.

I watched the ceiling,
Mouldy corners,
Inhaling the smoke.

Uncle Ben’s on his 11th cigarette,
Just been an hour.

Dad, I wish you’d return home soon.
I want your face for a warmth unspoken,
So shall love may my heart receive.

Uncle Ben has a dirty beard,
His crooked teeth and ugly breath.
I am filled with disgust.

I lay in a cotton sheet covered with mud,
It’s been ten years since I held the consciousness of this world.

Uncle Ben,
He smiles at me,
with another smoke,
He puffs.

Dad, I wish you’d return home soon.
I want your face for a warmth unspoken,
So shall love may my heart receive.

I’m scared dad.
I’m afraid you’d never return.
God forbid if it ever happened.

I am hungry dad.

Ben takes off his dusty coat,
He is ugly dad,
Hairy chest,
Paunch belly.
I don’t know what to expect.
He cups my face and smiles once again.

I am filled with negativity.

Dad, I wish you’d return home soon.
I want your face for a warmth unspoken,
So shall love may my heart receive.

I am hurt and hungry dad,
He’s touching me differently.
I don’t like his hands on me.
Where shall I run?
Help me please.

Inappropriate words he says,
He says you sold me to him.
I don’t believe him dad.
Come and rescue your Dolly.

He’s making me cry again, dad.
I am unsure of what is happening.

I am hungry dad.
I am hungry and sore and needy.

Dad, I wish you’d return home soon.
I want your face for a warmth unspoken,
So shall love may my heart receive.