beanerywriters had a post about a poem Domestic Violence, and the author's children even got involved with the process! There is no name listed for the author, and please check out the blog linked above for other good sources of literature on the subject!
While I was writing this poem, the kids wanted to know what I was doing. I told them I was writing the poem as a way of releasing that part of my life, and they thought they wanted to help. They wanted to do something, so I told them we would do a cover for the poem, a cover page. And I told them we would each draw a picture, but I let them draw two pictures, representing or depicting what those five years—the worst of the five years—meant to us.
The night has closed in; the hour’s grown late.
In hopeless despair, we ponder our fate.
The door soon kicks in. How angry you are!!
Oh no! Not again!! Not yet another scar!!!
Two little boys are down on their knees.
Their terrified cries: “Please don’t! Daddy please!!”
That look on your face. That glare in your eye.
“Oh God! Here it comes!” I silently cry.
You grab me, You hurt me, Squeezing too tight.
I know in my soul, it’s never been right.
My heart hits the floor; I just hold my breath.
Will this be the night that you “Love Me To Death??”
The sun of a new day, shining so bright,
Chases the terror of the past midnight’s fight.
But brand new tomorrows don’t keep it away.
It’s never gone long. It’s never okay.
It won’t last too long, this calm peaceful wind.
Soon there’ll be rage, and you’ll hurt us again.
Can we ever break free? Oh, what can we do??
When even the courtrooms can’t constrain you.
You won’t let us go. You’ve imprisoned me.
With fear of our safety, and my sanity.
Four little boys, they’ve done you no wrong.
To protect their lives, I’ve got to be strong.
All of this madness, it just has to end.
I have to let go, to start living again.
I’ve trembled at hearings, I’ve gagged on my fears;
I’ve shuddered and braced myself, fighting back tears.
And now that it’s over. Now that it’s done.
How long do the kids and I have left to run??
Please!! Let me sit back and just catch my breath;
For once, give me hope, you won’t “Love Me To Death!”
We put it down on paper so we could let it go. My oldest boy drew the handcuffs and the knife—he drew the knife and the handcuffs—because the knife symbolized his father threatening us with the knife, and the handcuffs symbolized his freedom from the trauma.
“When they took dad away in handcuffs we were free.”
The second son drew the gun and the baseball bat because we were threatened with the gun and we were threatened with a club.
And I drew the broken heart and the crying eyes. Actually, my third son helped me draw the crying eyes because I wasn’t that good of an artist. But that’s how each of us felt—that’s what we needed to let go of. So that’s how the cover came about.
What It Means To Be A Victim
A Chosen Vessel
Will You Love me To Death
Saturday Night Special
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