apartment living


i remember
sometimes, over and above
the sound of our television,
i could hear her screaming
at her eight year old son roy,
a kid a year younger than me,
who lived in the apartment upstairs.
the louder and more staccato
she would hurl her words,
the more often the counterpoint
of his yelps of pain.
it usually ended
with the thud of his body
slammed against a wall.
we didn’t play together much,
but sometimes i would see him
walking his thin sad-eyed dog
that had bruise marks on his ribs
where roy would kick him.







©A. D. Joyce, 2017


in search of a play


it is the height of summer
in a residential neighborhood
the sun is a bare spotlight
on me age seven
standing on the front porch stage right
while people carry boxes
from my house to the truck
the little boy who comes over to play
asks where are you going
i say that we are moving
and i know my answer is a tangent
but it is the best i can muster
i start to say that daddy is not coming with us
but i am pulled by the hand
to exit in a daze stage left
the neighborhood is watching
and as i get into the car
i wonder if i will ever see
the little boy again

©A. D. Joyce, 2014