Mother, this home is infected
with demons, every room
a photograph of the tragedies
we performed many a night.

Frightening is the bedroom where
I threatened to hit you
if you didn’t give me money or
the kitchen where I threatened suicide
if you dragged me into Sacrament Meeting
one more sunday. We need

a Bishop to cleanse this home,
which is no longer a home but
an echo chamber of conflict
so loud the police were notified.
I say that you’re no longer my mother
out of fancied betrayal, for how could you
banish your own donated progeny to
a cell unfit for humans?

Years later, when I write this,
adequate enough to shape and
compress my life into lines and stanzas,
I believe I will have my answer, then,
when our home is finally exorcised.

Photo by Kerensa Pickett on Unsplash

Austin Newton

Austin Newton's work has appeared in Pathos, High Shelf Press, The Montana Mouthful and elsewhere. He is currently pursuing his BFA in creative writing at Portland State University and lives in Portland, Oregon.