It happened

We drank beers and

ate sausages

and sat and talked

normal and then not normal.


Tears appeared reluctant,

and his eyes reddened

and his lips had there own force

that pushed beyond the

dreaded weight of memory.


He was eight, he said,

with a trembling fear that came from

the child still resident in his head.


He was eight when the serpent

opened his innocent eyes.


He kept talking and talking,

slowly at first and then with urgency,

for he had never spoken of it in 30 years.


It happened!

It happened!

He shouted as if to convince

me or him or someone

from a past that refused

to become just shadows in the mind.


It happened in the bedroom,

dark and quiet,

among his toys,

and on his bed,

on his safe

and warm bed.


He recalled the room and the deed

as dark as the night,

as singular as the perpetrator

who found his target

among his trusted friends.


He drank his beers

and the tears, that would

not stop, kept rolling

and rolling and his voice

was failing in the recollection

that spat out like poison.


When the tears dried

and the beers were drank

and the night grew old,

and found its awkward edge,

he stopped and looked at me,

and I knew just then that

I could no longer

be his friend.