The Spear

By Mimi Plevin-Foust

Willy was the kid who always cut up in class.
When I gave him the spear, he hung it
in our living room. The first time
he slapped me I laughed—tried to joke—
I told my daughters he was fooling,
hadn’t meant to. Like a TV set
I’d be cheerful for Willy and the girls,
rich-pretty-respectable for Dad,
jiving benefits-food stamps-corner
at my mother’s. I’d look at my

hands as I smoked—my smooth, nail polished
if they were really my own
or the hands of a woman I’d never met.
He’d beat me if I cut his sandwich wrong.
The night he knocked me down in the store—
slammed me into the car—pressed his thumb
and two fingers against the pulse
in my throat and held me there
calling me by his mother’s name

I knew that night I wouldn’t see morning.
He said Don’t breathe.
I searched his face for one feature
of the man I had loved— the spear
resting above his head on the wall—
My two girls. He left the room.
I lifted the spear

its shaft light and cool
and when he came back shouting, Now
I pressed its tip against his heart—
I said Don’t blink.
I pressed him against the living room
wall I could feel his heart flutter— If
you blink I’ll pin you to this wall

like a butterfly.


Mimi Plevin-Foust received her MFA from New York University’s Dramatic Writing program. She has published poetry, screenplays and essays in Half The Sky,, POZ Magazine, SCRIPT, Spoon River Poetry Review, Stickman Review and more. Shortly after college, she helped to found Sojourner House, a Rhode Island advocacy and resource center providing safe haven for domestic violence victims.  Mimi lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband, daughter, three cats, and a star magnolia in the front yard.

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