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Don't Call Her Grace

Was it a push or a fall?
You denied any violence ever happened at all.
I watched you slowly crawling up the stairs
then waited as you lie there
too afraid and stunned for my teardrops to fall
I listened to him rage and kept my back against the wall.

Most nights I lay there in the dark
hearing every cry you would make
I felt your fear and closed my eyes
torn between relief and guilt
hoping to shut out your pleas for mercy’s sake
for that night I was spared.

By morning, saw the bruises
which were never on your face
the words I heard, the images that burned
do not easily erase.
I knew all your favorite lines
his responsibility to negate,
“I ran into the doorknob, my middle name was never Grace.”

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Editing stage: 


But it has to be addressed. One of our monthly songwritting meeting turned to talking about abuse. When one female member showed up black and blue. Every woman and girl should know to get out of a relationship. On the first sign of abuse. NO SECOND CHANCES. ask any victem that got away. It does not get better. I hope this is only fiction for you. Take Care. huey

Thank you for reading this and commenting. I agree that it needs to be talked about, women need to know (as well as men who are also abused but don't usually admit to it). I agree also with your comment about no second chances!
I am glad you liked the poem....I hope it touches people and opens up lines of communication, for that is my intent.

author comment

There is nothing lower than somebody who abuses a weaker person. I think using a 3rd person viewpoint is a great idea.............scribbler

Thanks for reading this and your nice comment. I always appreciate your viewpoint.


author comment

I appreciate your praise. I didn't know if I should have posted this as my first poem to return to Neo with due to its subject, I am glad I did. I was afraid it was too negative. As I know you realize this is also from my childhood. One of those memories I was never able to store in the attic and lock away. Thank you for being such a wonderful support to me since I joined Neo!

Love ya bunches,

author comment

Welcome back.

I enjoyed reading this piece very much. The cadence is wonderful, the word-choice excellent, and I like the title, and it's use at the end.

I hate the subject. No reflection on you; there are simply some things in life that we should all hate, and the subject of your poem is one of them.
I was struck by the triple level of sadness I felt in this piece: sad for the abuse, sad for the victim's inability to admit the abuse, and sad for the narrator, having to witness such a horror.
It leaves a knot of nausea in my guts that is surprising to me, being as world-weary as I am these days.

But when all is said, this is a fine piece of work, well done.

Respectfully, Jim

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

All I can say is thank you Jim.


author comment

WOW this is scary good. I hope this was just a writing experment and not a real life experience. beautiful work. deep and dark

You can never pick anyone up if you are busy putting them down

Thank you so much Hobo.
Will try to post something lighter the next time around! LOL.


author comment

good to see your write always you express the emotions and feelings so eloquently...i am prompted to come up with the following response extempor...

while the candle burns
most gain from its light
few realize the torment
emanating from its tip

the wick has a story to tell
making the wax melt
like droplets of tears
they slide down the edge

slowly but surely
the light fades out
leaving a life fulfilled
with a glorious past...


raj (sublime_ocean)

What a wonderful poem you have written! Thank you so much! I am always honored by your comments. I also am happy to be back and read all my terrific Neo friends again.


author comment

This is about a fine a poem as I've read about violence at home, where home should be a sanctuary from the world of violence.

I agree with Jim, the way you personified all three aspects, the victim, the abuser, the witness (usually a child) in your poems lends itself to feeling compassion, something that is sorely lacking these days and exemplified by Raj's extemporaneous poem.

A wonderful thread on a subject that needn't be if only we could stop the cycle. Most abusers have been abused, or witnessed the violence.


p.s. Btw, the title and the last line are simply astonishingly superb!

by your comments about my write. Between you and Jim's, (as well as everyone elses) I am having difficulty expressing my appreciation! I did not expect that this poem would be recieved as it has. Thank you for your comments on the just came from hearing my mother say it so often....


author comment

who has lived the tale, I must agree that this poem is one of the best that I have read lately. It is all too common a story, and although anyone deplores the reality, I fear that unless there is a wonderous change in the world, it will never be old news. I liked the third person aspect too, and it is rare that the tale is told this way. We sometimes forget about the effect that it has on the children, when there is abuse in a household. Even when it is not in your household, and you are an adult, it can be very uncomfortable to see someone being abused, physically or verbally. Awesome job, ~ Gee

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I always hate to hear when others have lived this pain also. Guess that is why I became a social try when I can to help with any change, no matter how small it is.
Thanks so much for reading this and taking the time to comment on it.


author comment

Your poem is amazing and I applaud your courage to write about it. Suffice to say I totally agree with Jim.

Love Mand xxxxxx

I truly appreciate your praise and that you took the time to not only read this but tell me what you thought. As I told Rosina, I was somewhat hesitant to post this as my "first poem back", and have been overwhelmed by everyones comments.


author comment

I apologize for not being here so much but I so missed your work and I read this I would like to come back to it and offer some suggests.

Subject is something I know so well from my past
Also work in it and see it around everywhere
You did a great job just needs some polishing up if you so like

I miss you and thought of you often. Blessings to you and the family and talk soon

Love, Mona

So glad to hear from you Mona! Hope all is well.

This is from something that happened when I was about 6 years of those very clear memories that we never get rid of.

Would love to hear your suggestions.

Love ya!

author comment
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