• Flux Magazine

"One Two Three Four" by Audrey Cadena

One child runs to the only person who knows their pain

Two siblings sit, shoulder to shoulder, leaning against the door, listening

to the screaming match between their parents on the other side

Three members, the solid unit of the family, sit and talk

They’re the ones who stick together

They rant, they cry, they want it all to be over soon

A family of four is seated at the dinner table

No food is being eaten, no lively conversation being made

That is, unless, you count the repeated circles of blame

He did this, she did that, over and over again

Four won’t last for very long together

That’s what this has all been about

They will break off into two, a group of three and of one

The split is for the best, for all four

Three finally are free of one

Consisting of one parent, two children

They struggle but they manage, as it is now over

Two siblings sit on the carpet in a new house, listening only to each other

for the screaming has stopped and the blame circles are no more

One child sleeps soundly for the first time, the pain has subsided

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