Part 1. What domestic violence feels like when you are IN in. Part 2 about how society views you after discovery of DV, and Part 3 about recovery are forthcoming.

It starts as a spark,
as something someone said.
Or like a lightning bolt—
through your heart,
of something someone did.

A true revelation, a sad recognition,
it sets off that something in you.
You want to attack, to react,
just to follow through.

But the path to the right is unclear,
your feet slip and they slide in the dew.
For some cosmic, mystic trait…
that others have,
is sadly lacking in you.

So as the lightning flashes,
and surrounds everything that you know,
you sit impassive
and just let it happen,
and cannot escape the blow.

Listening to the thunder that follows,
and knowing all it destroys,
what do you do,
but hide your head,
and hope that no one knows.

Shadow of Ashes

image courtesy Edvard Munch

Shadow moves in presence,
in menace, no, but in silent appraisal.

Seeing through with invisible eyes,
and shaking facade free from brick walls.

Shadow breathes to enlighten,
filter and throw incandescence rays.

Looking to back-light corners,
to shimmer sharp edges round and smooth.

Shadow surrounds the harsh, the unbending,
and the cold with the comfort of ash blankets.

As you find your way


The Road

 A great whoosh of the air
she’d been holding inside.
The strong glow up ahead,
a blinding, white light.

Forward, the way
not the left, not the right.
the past, it’s left behind,
with all of it’s fright.

Breathe in the new scents,
the new tastes, hear the sound
of the woman’s voice clear, loud,
and no longer bound.

She speaks with great thought, never rash,
always bold.
For the others will listen,
hear what has been told.

Keep to your own way
and never lose sight.
Don’t forget the good that you do,
the lives that you touch, the hearts that you light!

For those in your company are well known
to be blessed by your vision, your wisdom,
your comfort,
your soul.


All of THIS


“All of this?” and she gestures to the
marker, crayon, dust and filth
that adorns her walls, her floor,

her life.

“All of this happened while unable to see,
when my eyes were on my work,
feeding my kids, surviving.”

our life.

“All of this?” she points to her
stained carpet, broken cabinets,
and broken doors,

her broken heart.

“All of this happened while I was
pushing, challenging, protecting,
and fighting.”

our captor.

“All of this?” she speaks of her
shattered soul, her smothered light,
her tired body,

their endless night.

“All of this happened while I wasn’t looking.”



 saffron tinged leaves blow
from the place they were then,
to the place they now lay,

across the carefully sown fields
and through each deliberate blade,
past a brilliant blue sky-now changed to gray,

while she slept, and she dreamed
of the straight and of the true,
only to discover, with harsh sun’s ray,


She should have stayed awake.


Her Fall Through September


Rice Krispie air?  No, not yet…

She is waiting, suspended.

Running out onto the porch with the trash to check,
every morning.
Not yet, she knows it’s near, and so she waits, suspended.

Just the beginning of cooler weather in the mornings,
just the very beginning, and she is impatient
for temperatures to fall.

She remembers the years past,
on the drive home from work around seven-thirty am.
The very glitter in the air,
she knows the route to take to get the best view.

Up Buffalo, the trees on the right just scream at her
as the rising sun reflects off of leaves facing east.
The very air glitters, you can see each speck,
floating, suspended.

She never understood
why the people aren’t just stopping,
to gaze in awe.

No cars pulled over,
no one person paused in their dog walking.
How can they just not see it?
Unless…it was only for her?

This magic dusting.

This gold, this bronze.

Bright white yellows and reds.

Was it only for her?

This magic dusting.

This glittery air.

Only for her.

So she must fall through the rest of September.

To reach her reward.

Until then, she waits…suspended.