She’s battered and bruised, she learned it from you.
That’s what you allowed when she was 2.
They say memory emerges when a child reaches 3,
But he did it so much that it scarred her memory.
And when she turned 4, nothing had changed.
You were just a little better at concealing your shame.
But concealer and blush never hid your bruises,
For some stains remain long after the abuses.
You swore he would never lay a finger on your daughter
But letting him hit you – sacrificed her – lamb to the slaughter.
“Do as I say, not as I do,”
Is not a lesson plan with imbedded value.
And so she grew up as the nightmare unfolded.
You never measuring up and you getting scolded.
First by his harsh words, then by his big fists,
Grabbing your throat and twisting your wrists.
Your skin discoloured, your face swollen,
And your self value shattered when you accepted his tokens.
Gifts wrapped in lies of this being “the last time.”
He’d blame it on the liquor, his job, the wine.
And you knowing full well it would never end,
Deluding yourself as you tried to pretend.
Paralyzed by fear that you could not make it on your own,
You bowed to his beatings, keeping him on the throne.
A coward was your king and his wickedness your sin,
For you were his enabler caving to his every whim.
You told yourself you’d made a vow: With This Ring I Thee Wed
Yet your portion was never a part of that Pledge.
You did not stay because he was rich, although that he was
You stayed because with sustained abuse is an accompanying drug
Love? Fear? A combination of both?
Standing outside looking in, one cannot denote.
But you knew it was wrong
Yet you feared he was strong
Mistaking his violence for a backbone
You let him cast stone after stone.
And then she was 5, 6, and 7
And you thought “every girl should have a dad”
So you told yourself you were staying…
To give her what you had never had.
But raised voices were her lullabies
And your shimmering black eyes her night lights
And as she grew she aged
Wedged between his violence and your fright.
Then she was a teenager and you rationalized
If you didn’t stay he wouldn’t pay for college
And after all –
“You can’t put a price on knowledge.”
So you said you’d “tough it out” a few more years
Truth is you didn’t know how to move past your fears
It is what you had known for 20 odd years
And your eyes couldn’t see without the tears
Just like you wanted she moved out and went to college
Your gorgeous gorgeous girl.
And you patted yourself on the back
Thinking your suffering had gained her the world
But monkey see. Monkey do.
And that’s just what she did.
She found a man like her daddy
And in his arms she hid.
She told him she loved him
Unfortunately he “loved” her more
And every time she showed her lesser love
She was sorry, of that he made sure.
Soon everything she said was wrong
Especially when she was right
She moved in cuz she felt right at home
In the presence of her fright.
This was love she recognized
Turbulent and full of blows
And monkey will not suspect,
What monkey already knows.
But she was not “strong” like you,
And soon she’d had enough,
She never spoke of it though,
Because that’s just how she grew up.
You were so used to hidden emotions,
You couldn’t see the ones right before your eyes,
And so you encouraged her “wonderful catch”
And didn’t not notice her soul withering as it died.
He continuously killed her with his words
And one day she just gave up.
And she slit her own wrists
For where she came from: violence was an acceptable construct
An invisible prison with metal bars
You taught her that it was okay
You taught her she should conceal her pain
You taught her she should stay
Her eyes were swollen like yours
Yet her heart had 20/20 vision
And with her sight she saw
That she could not hope to exist in this prison
In her old house there were no “exit” signs
And this one was much the same
So she retreated inside her head
And thought of what she had to gain –
Existence was nothing but pain,
Love was the most violent of emotions,
And she decided not to remain.
She cut the cords of bondage,
Split them from vein to vein,
And wrists wide open,
She breathlessly called your name.
Your gorgeous gorgeous girl
Peaceful and pale
Concealer on her face
Blush bleeding onto her veil
Strategically placed to hide the bruises
The make-up could not mask
Soon to be lowered into the ground
In a coffin of damask .
You did it all for her,
But u forgot – monkey see monkey do.
And now her lifeless body,
Was doing back onto you.
For violence robs the receiver
And those the receiver loves
And no lies will diminish the echo
Of what staying really does.