AFTER CHURCH GOING 1958

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
A GIRL AND HER ABUSIVE FATHER IN LONDON IN 1958

Submitted: September 10, 2015

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Submitted: September 10, 2015

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After Benny dropped her off
at her parents' flat
he went back home

Ingrid's father was in
the sitting room
in an armchair
watching TV

where have you been?
he asked her

she stood by the door
her eyes widening

went to church
to sing hymns
she replied

what church
and who with?
he asked

the Gospel Hall
and with Benny
she replied

he scrutinized her
and stood up
and walked
around her slowly

become all religious
all of a sudden have you?

Ingrid's mother
came in from the kitchen
she's a good girl
going to church
her mother said

shut up you
when I want your input
I'll ask for it
he said

her mother sat
on the sofa
and stared
at them both

what did you sing?

hymns lots of them
Ingrid replied softly
looking at the floor

but with that Benny boy
you know I don't like
you going with him
how do I know
you ain't lying?
he said

why would I lie?
she said

he glared at her
stared into her eyes
he slapped her face

she burst into tears

her mother bit her lip
she's telling the truth
you can't hit her
for telling the truth
her mother said

he turned and glared at her
shut up your whining

he grabbed Ingrid's arm
and squeezed it tight
so you sang hymns then?

she nodded

what hymns?
he asked

she sniffed
and tried to control
her crying

we will make you
fishers of men
she said tearfully

fishers of men?
what's that
supposed to mean?
fish after men
don't sound too
bloody religious to me
he said
bloody whores do that
every day

it means to go out
and save men
from their sins
Ingrid sobbed
awaiting another slap

he walked around
her again

she stood still
head down

and why him?
why the Benny boy?

I like him
he's kind
and friendly
Ingrid said softly

yes he's a good boy
her mother said
I know his mother
she's a good sort

do you want a thump?
he asked his wife

she shook her head
and sealed her lips
and looked away

make yourself useful
go get me a tea

Ingrid's mother
walked off
to the kitchen

Ingrid thought of Benny
wondered what he was doing
wished he was there

her father yanked her
over the chair
and beat her
half a dozen times

take that and that
he said darkly
for your sins and crimes

upstairs in his parent's flat
over the way
Benny was watching TV
thinking of Ingrid's fate

downstairs
locked in her room
Ingrid lay sobbing
on her bed
thoughts of Benny
still held there
warmly in her head.


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