Nov 222015

by Tracy Blanchard


He would be a torturer

Was one of the first thoughts I had

Of my brother-in-law

If he had been born in the right country

At the right time

The way he handled the dog

Giving it a bath

Standing over it like a member of the Gestapo

As it squirmed and whined under his roughness

His entitlement to inflict suffering on everything around him.

Even on his nephew,

Whom he beat when he was left alone with him.

This caused fights between him and my husband,

Who both grew up in a house of shrieks and violence.

The difference was that for the rest of his life my husband

Put himself in front of the bulldozer

In a way that nobody had done for him when

He was small.

Some become the protector

Some become the torturer.

They would yell at each other,

Lucio’s hand around Anael’s neck,

Daniel’s hand on Anael’s shoulder,

And I watched the child,

In tears,

Not from the pain of Lucio’s blows

But for the inner conflict and confusion

He, like me, loved them both.