When Mother gets angry, the children are not safe,
clinging to walls that collapse around them, crushing
childhood beneath her wrath. She roars at us, and throws
our things about, for they mean nothing to Mother
when she is mad. She’ll unleash torrents, and we will try
to hide, but Mother knows all the hiding places.
She will knock them down or flood them with her rage, until
we are gasping for air, begging Mother to forgive us.
And when she calms again, Mother is nearly silent.
She never apologizes, only watches us through cloudy eyes
as we try to pick up broken pieces of Mother’s fury.
We hold the children and shake, and try to explain, but
we can’t. Haunted by the cruelty Mother has unleashed
on some, we whisper and hope, and glance up warily.
Do not make Mother angry.