Mary Ellen’s song
(words & music by Larry Looney, © 2006)

Fingers scratch the window screen, throw shapes upon the wall.
Is that me I hear crying, or just a night bird’s call…?
The breeze it blows the curtains wide, I see the silver moon –
I pray the light of dawn will be here soon.

The nights they are the hardest – I dream that he’s still there,
the creaking of the cooling house could be his foot upon the stair.
Then courage opens up my eyes, and I see the empty floor –
no shadow cast beneath the bedroom door.

Daddy, you can’t hurt me anymore,
can’t lock me up inside my room, or call me ‘little whore’.
I’m black and blue no longer, but I can’t go outside –
so here among these tangled ghosts I hide.

My name is Mary Ellen, my age is twenty-eight –
if I look a few years older, I guess it’s from the fear and hate.
I spend my life just waiting for the other shoe to drop –
tell me when the hurt’s supposed to stop.

I will always be your little girl,
crippled by your legacy, fearful of the world.
I can’t look in the mirror, I know my eyes will show the score:
Mary Ellen doesn’t live here anymore.

14-17 December 2006

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