2/13/21 – Poetry

The first time I ever saw a woman being abused I was around 8 or 9

My mother left for a date with her boyfriend at the time,

I recall hearing an argument ensue outside

My curious mind led to me peeking out the blinds,

And just as I peered out the window, I witnessed a man punching a woman in the face

He hit her so hard that she fell to the ground

I sat there in disbelief, unable to fully comprehend what had just occurred.

The first time a man ever put his hands on me I was 18

I’d just caught him cheating and of course he flipped shit around and tried to blame me

He hit me in my face so hard that I lost my breath

I sat there frozen, in disbelief

Not fully grasping the reality of what had just occurred.

My salty tears ran down my bruised face

I was too ashamed to tell anyone so I kept it inside

I forgave him and he made empty promises that he’d never do it again

I felt any self-worth I had left diminish each time he’d raise his hand

The last time I allowed a man to hurt me physically I was 21

We’d been together for years and in an instant, it all went downhill

He had me pinned against the wall with his hands around my throat

I saw the demon within him as I tried to escape his grasp

I wasn’t aware of the impact this would have

Of the vivid flashbacks I’d get from the trauma he caused me

I still think about that woman from my childhood.

I think about whether or not she chose to stay or,

Was she brave enough to walk away?

I wish I’d left at 18.

I wish I’d never ignored the warning signs at 21.

I wish I’d loved myself enough to never settle for a man who thought beating women was ok.

And some days I’m ok,

Until I’m not.

Until the images flash and I’m back in that space I fought so hard to get out of

Some days I’m ok.

At least that’s what I tell myself.

Photo by Muhammadtaha Ibrahim Ma’aji on Unsplash

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