Momma said be quiet kids, he’s coming

up the street he’s wobbling, I could feel

her trembling in my soul as I held her

hand and felt the sweat on her palm,

knowing how worried and scared she

is about him coming up those stairs,

drunk and abusive with words.


Before he had the chance, she glanced

one more time through the peeking

curtains and said let’s get out of here

kids were on the run, let’s leave through

the back door.


Five kids in tow, holding on to momma’s

apron, she was carrying little Joe and the

rest of us were on our toes beside her crying,

momma why are we leaving again, as she

opened up the back shed door grabbing

our coats along the run, all half walked,

and ran to keep up with each other scraping

our knees from splinters rubbed off from

the old shed.


Out into the alleyway, winds blowing, half

dressed momma would have us run along

her side as she wept, and shook from the

cold trying to hail a cab to get us out

of the cold.


She finally did, and we all packed in

like sardines in an oiled can, shivering with

cold and frost-bitten toes, you see some of

us didn’t have time to find our boots, so

we ran out in our socks and frozen, they

were right to the tips of our toes.


Uptown we went to auntie’s house with

her seven cats and Jehovah Witness books,

and magazines strewn about the shelfs in

her living room, and on the end tables,

for you see she was a gentle old soul and

cared for her drunken man who meant

no harm just hid his Vodka bottles

under their bed.


Uncle took care of the Lincoln Hotel,

and once took me there for a visit in his

drunken haze and showed how the old

dumb-waiter worked and let me ring

the elevator bell while he closed the

gate and cranked the handle that took

us up to the 13th floor to visit old

Mrs. Dell who gave me jellybeans

brightly colored they were.


Our sleeping arrangements were

every kid for themselves, we would

all lay on the living room floor, six

of us strewn about and covered with

blankets and tablecloths, and made up

pillows from knitting wool piles aunt

Nina kept in a cedar chest hidden in

her bedroom boudoir behind a

secret door.


At night in the silence of the room

us kids would whisper to each other

such frightful stories, to see who could

be the scariest that night, and take turns

scratching each others back with

promises to “if you do mine I will do

yours” and often I would get mine done

and roll over to sleep, and they

would call me Mr. Cheap.


The phone would ring with pleas from

her man this beast monster we all hated,

and would hear her crying on the phone,

knowing that he was begging for us to

come home ,she would relent and cave

in and say to us children we are going

back he said he will change and misses

us all and to give him another chance



Kissing Auntie and Uncle Goodbye,

the six of us would take that ride back

to the Hell from wench we came knowing

very well we would all pay for having left

the house of Usher and his chains.


© Copyright Vincent Moore 2012. All Rights Reserved.



Running — 16 Comments

  1. So sad Vincent. I can’t imagine such a childhood as yours and what your poor mother went through. Thank God you seem to walk a much happier path now; even though you are haunted by your past. You relive your childhood with such clarity as I guess it’s firmly etched into your Soul. Happy, bright days ahead for you my friend as you certainly deserve much happiness. Brilliantly written!

    • Thank you Cheryl, yes indeed my days are much brighter now, but your correct in assuming that my dark past will never leave this poet, thus I pen to relieve me of that sorrow. Thank you for the compliment on this piece, much appreciated as always.

  2. …………”the house of Usher and his chains”…

    Vincent…….. wow. We are kindred spirits you and I my dear… a toast to survival for us both over a bottle of wine someday…….. someday.

    • Yes Roxi very likely in many ways we are kindred spirits, yes indeed sure would be nice to meet up in person and share a glass or bottle or two:-)

    • Yes Dim those were frightening days for a young child like myself, many a night we ran out to get away from the drunken coward and demon. My sweet auntie always opened her doors for my mother, her niece and us 5 kids tagging along, we slept on living, dining room floors as there was only one bedroom that her and uncle slept in. So dear mama and us kids would find a place as comfortable as we can find to bunk down for the nights.

    • Yes it is dear poet, I know you can assimilate with my feelings. I did a lot of running away in my youth from abuse, but it cause me a lot of turmoil on the streets and at schools, as I took my anger out on other kids, too many fights in my young days, all because of the beast at home tormenting me to unleash my anger on him to others, it was sad. very sad.

    • Thank you Time for stopping by and giving me a read, I’m happy you liked it and learned from it. It was a tough lesson for me in those days, lots of pain and anger and confusion.

  3. You know I’ve been aware of your sad childhood and other adult hurts since we first met on Hubpages. I remember your wondering if you could conjure up enough butterflies and flowers to be able to write poetry and I encouraged you to write what you know, to bare your soul via your pen and share things that, surely, others relate to and can also articulate the anguish left from early hurts. You’ve always had more empathy for your dear mother and siblings than for yourself in those early terrorizing days, for which I’ve admired you. Even so, you were there and felt it all first–hand and it carved its wounds into your soul. How good it is that you’ve let some of the pain out where it can’t carve new grooves from being buried inside. This ia a very powerful description of the actual experience of one of those horrendous times. Hugs, dear friend ~

    • Oh thank you dear friend for your kind and empathetic words. Yes you know of my life and past experiences as a boy growing up in a home filled with verbal and physical abuse as well drunkedness. I have been able to bare my soul by writing of it through poetry. I’ve been gifted by a muse late in life to do so and for that I am thankful. I have ears and eyes who want to read and listen to my words and truly I’m also blessed for that. You my dear Nellieanna and fellow poet have stood by me with your encouragement and lengthly comments left at much of my work over the years. I am at peace with myself and have taken your advice to look at the rosy side of life and put the demons behind me, it’s working nicely. I will continue to pen my poetry as it comes forth. Hugs

Leave a Reply