Anger Poem

Surviving A Difficult Home Life

This poem is for all the children who handle situations beyond their control and still try to navigate their daily lives. As the oldest girl in a family of five, it was my job to calm the younger ones on nights when our home situation got out of control. As a substitute teacher, I identified with the kids who were having a hard time focusing and keeping up with their peers. My hope is that this poem will help some teachers identify and understand these students who are in their classes.

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The Night Guard


Published by Family Friend Poems August 2020 with permission of the author.

The shadows on my bedroom wall are growing dark and long.
I hear the voices rise and fall, their language harsh and strong.
Do they know I can hear their fight? Maybe they just don't care
that their child is locked in fright, heart pounding in both ears.

My sister runs, climbs in my bed and pulls my blanket close.
She softly shakes her little head, awakened by the noise.
She sobs because we hear Mom cry. I try to soothe her tears,
while sniffing back all of mine. We night guards can't show fear.

I rock her, singing nursery rhymes to drown the angry fight.
We sit as one in frozen time, hoping to last the night.
She's peaceful in my little cot; we're finally okay
when sunlight glows; a tiny spot leads us safe to day.

We get up, get dressed, get the bus, and sometimes get to eat.
But through it all, there's two of us together on the street.
My job is done until tonight; we made it through that risk.
So teacher, please, forgive me if my head is on my desk.


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