You Don't Know What's Inside, Part 1

First day out of prison
Billy showed up in our driveway
just off route one,

a cousin of my aunt’s
twin’s ex-husband
he was
the second time
in all my eleven years
another person
frightened me,

the light was just turning,
the day starting to give way
to the streetlamp moon
shining on rush hour
the long hush of traffic in a steady rain,
red lights, white lights, high beams
flashing by
on the black hill highway
that he turned off
our driveway
his long white Cadillac
crunching the gravel,
the headlights
baring down on the kitchen window,

my mother upstairs,
my little sister resting inside her,
I stepped out of the house
just as the engine switched off
and the heat of the machine
a tall bald man I’d never seen,
denim shirt, jeans,
brown leather boots
got out
shut the heavy door of the car,
walked up to me
cold looked down:
“Is your mom home?”

I am a terrible liar,
I acted alone
I turned red and lied,

rubbing the keys in my pocket
I studied on gouging out
his menacing eyes
if he
got any closer,

I hadn’t worked
on the farm yet
I was still scrawny,
patches of sweat
pooling under the arms of
my t-shirt

but he walked
back to the car
opened the door
Tell her Uncle Billy stopped by.”
and pulled away
easing his ride
returning to the camouflage,
the lights and wheels slipstream
right outside
the thin glass of the windows
we live behind.