Woke up on Mother’s Day, and to her great surprise,
Was something she’d never wanted: broken ribs and two black eyes.
Christmas and Valentine’s Day brought more of the same,
Bruises and bitemarks, stitches and awful names.
They ask why she doesn’t leave, why she would “put up with that”?
Guess they don’t realize this isn’t a lover’s spat.
She’s not allowed to use the phone, the money, the car,
If she knew he couldn’t follow, oh, she would run so far.
Years went by before she found the nerve,
The law didn’t deliver justice, only papers would they serve.
She didn’t see it coming, this life after the abuse,
The spite from those around her, the friend that they would choose.
It often confused her, how far she could fall,
She’d done what they’d suggested and left after all.
Was this really better; broken, alone, and scared?
Where were all those people who had insisted how much they cared?
Every sound at night terrified her, the nasty remarks cut just as deep.
Sometimes she wakes screaming, he still chokes her in her sleep.
Now they say, just get over it, move on, let it go.
She’s told to rebuild her life, but how she doesn’t know.
Why had no one told her how long it would take to heal,
All the faith he had shattered, the joy he could still steal.
Did they think she’d just suddenly be alright?
After she’d tiptoed from the darkness, edged into the light.
Looking back, she can’t help but shake her head and sigh,
She wears a purple ribbon, but no one seems to know why.
They told her if she left, they’d always have her back,
She didn’t get support, in fact, she didn’t get jack.
From somewhere inside herself, and place she didn’t know she had,
She’s drawn strength to survive this too, pretending she’s not sad.
No one wants to hear her story, why must they choose a side?
Afterall, it was years ago; doesn’t she have any pride?
He’ll still be there on holidays, although now with someone new,
No one seems to remember all the horrors she went through.
She still must send her children, the courts say he has rights,
Because he didn’t hurt them, during any of those fights.
Somehow it’s still her fault, even after so much time,
Now she knows which was really the bigger crime.
If he’d managed to kill her, then they’d have been dismayed,
She’d lived, she survived, but no one’s throwing a parade.
The next time that you see her, consider what you say,
Your condescension wounds, your attitude dismays.
Please remember, she’s still mending, and it may take awhile,
Help her with honest kindness, friendship and a smile.
She may have made it out of the lion’s den alone,
But she needs you to be there, to still pick up the phone.
Don’t assume because the hitting is over, the journey has ended,
Support her even after the scars have faded, the broken bones are mended.
For this is the hardest part of the road, learning to live again.
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