Friday Poem – Holes

Ivy Alvarez’ collection Disturbance is a gripping novel in verse that chronicles a multiple homicide, a tragic case of domestic violence, where a family was gunned down by the husband and father, the one person who promised to protect them.

The book features poems in a kaleidoscope of voices from all the characters involved. We first meet the family itself and witness how the father’s controlling attitude gradually escalates into violence. Then we get the aftermath: the authorities, police and neighbours, who all might have helped to prevent this tragedy. This is a very dark book, but a courageous one, ultimately about evil and its presence in our everyday lives.

Holes captures the immense anguish and heartbreak of a mother who was helpless to protect her son in this tragic case.


I pressed the button. No-one came. The police could not find me in the dark. They were also afraid of death… it might come for them instead. They waited behind a screen of trees, for the moon to uncover itself, silver the edges of their sirens, their dark cars. The pale pebbles in the driveway, left to imagine the river that used to wet them—they must tire of always staring up, sightless and at the mercy of everything. The police step on them. They creep only so close, but no closer. My son is dead on the ground. Someone close his eyes. But I am ignored in this as I have been with so many other things. His blood is cold now, blackening, drying up, stiffening the fabric of his jacket, soaking into the soil. There are holes in him I know nothing about, nothing to do with the boy I delivered to the world, my gift, small and pure. The dark is blue and cold. The trees conceal susurrations in their high skirts, branches uplifted like arms, wailing whispers… Black cars, old scars, my son’s open mouth, empty shotgun shells whistling smoke white dancing up and out


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