Paranoia seeps through the walls,
carried there on the smoke
of his thousand thousand cigarettes.
The house itself infused with protection
and angry strength.
Tread Not on Me.
A Man’s Home is His Castle.
An immature, aging man rules this kingdom with an iron fist.
Spreading his hurts,
his defeats to we who live within those walls,
controlling us with inconsistent rules
and capricious rage.
Rare visitors perch uncomfortably on the once-trendy sofa,
in a room perfectly maintained
They feel monitored behind polite conversation;
the walls all armor and eyes
beneath the dark suburban paint.
A conventional conversation drifts up to me,
sitting on the stairs
down the hall.
A fantasy spins in my head:
they might take me with them.
But before they can meet me,
I hear their hurried excuses,
just before they flee back into sunshine,
pausing to gulp the fresh air
as they head to their car.
Watching their escape from my bedroom window,
my hope deflates
with every step
they take away
from my father’s house.