Poetry

The Revolt

A day finally came

When something changed in me,

My cup was overflowing

And there was no going back.

I could not sit silent any longer

While great injuries were hurled upon me.

So I stood up,

And refused to be knocked down.

The response was swift and violent,

But I was free-

Free to do as I pleased,

Free from guilt and ridicule,

Free to pursue my dreams,

Free to love myself.

Potholes

Potholes

 

Life after trauma is like navigating a long, winding road

With your vision obscured by a blindfold

 

After spring melts the winter’s snow

And reveals the damage to the streets below.

 

People zip past on their way here and there

While you crawl at a grinding pace, paralyzed with fear.

 

Unable to foresee what dangers lie ahead,

You view the world with trepidation and dread.

 

Even when familiar streets become easier to navigate,

The thought of new routes and challenges keeps you awake.

 

Every pothole that sets you back

Makes you feel your life will never be on track.

 

You’re moving nowhere in a hurry,

And it makes you want to scream in fury.

 

All the while people passing by

Without the slightest comprehension why

 

You’re having such a difficult time

When everything to them seems just fine.

 

How could they possibly comprehend

When nothing like that ever happened to them?

 

They could never understand the constant dread

Of wondering what hazard could lie ahead.

 

I Write

I am not a master of metaphor.

I cannot paint grand illusions with words,

And I have no great wisdom

Of the secrets of the universe,

But I still write.

I write for myself,

To ease my soul and quiet my mind

Because there are words inside me

That are burning to get out.

I write because I can

Because I have a voice,

Because I have things to say,

And things to share.

Dear Officer

“When two people marry they become in the eyes of the law one person, and that one person is the husband.” 

~Shana Alexander, State-by-State Guide to Women’s Legal Rights, 1975

 

Dear Officer,

Thank you for your compassion and understanding.

Thank you for letting me know my place.

Thank you for explaining to me that being hurled into furniture is only a misdemeanor

And not worthy of a permanent record.

Thank you for clarifying that fear of death is not the same as a real threat

And not a valid reason for a restraining order.

Thank you for pointing out “it’s not like he hit you”.

Thank you for focusing on how few my outward bruises were

While completely ignoring the gaping wounds inside.

Thank you for reminding me that a five year relationship

Is not something you just throw down the drain.

Thank you for your ridicule

And your attempt to publicly humiliate me.

Thank you for having a laugh with your coworkers

At my expense.

Thank you for letting me know that I was wrong to wait a day

And that I should have called during the beating to save you time and paperwork.

Thank you for making it clear that public servants are only available to serve men

And that the law provides no protection for women

Thank you for leaving me to retrieve my belongs without an escort

Because you were to busy to get up from your break.

Thank you for not only judging me for my own mistakes,

But for the mistakes of every woman who came before me.

Thank you for making me feel victimized all over again.

Thank you for being part of the problem.

To My Abuser

“Now that you have touched the
women you have struck a rock,
you have dislodged a boulder,
you will be crushed.”

Women’s Freedom Song, August, 1956

To my abuser and every abuser out there: past, present, and future,

I am a woman of power, a woman who has been empowered, and I have something to say to you.  You thought you could tear me down piece by piece, isolate me, and break my spirit. You thought you could silence my voice and seed self doubt.

But the tree that bends and weathers heavy storms grows deeper roots, and bones that break mend stronger.

And so too does a woman beaten down and oppressed grow strength and resolve beyond your comprehension, a spirit beyond your grasp, a voice that cannot be silenced, and a zest for life you cannot touch.  She is beyond your control, beyond your reproach; and she does it through the unity, strength, and tenacity of all the woman who have suffered in silence with her.
We are neither suffering nor silent any longer.

We have a voice and it is clear, and strong.

We have a goal and the unwavering resolve to achieve it.

We will be heard.

We will make changes.

We will heal the damage you have caused.

We will replace your words of hate with love, your lies with truth, and your ridicule with affirmations.

We will do this with grace and poise as a coalition of sisters allied in a common front.

We are here to tell you we have had enough.

We will put an end to your reign of terror one woman at a time.

We will speak out

We will make people listen.

We will make a difference.

                                                                                                       Sincerely,

                                                                                                       Jenny