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How does a battered woman feel?

After long and careful consideration for both the necessity for this, and the potential for offending a great many sensibilities, I have decided to attempt to share with everyone a poem I wrote about how domestic violence feels to a battered woman. I want this poem to ignite outrage, so that people reading it will get out of their comfort zones, and start taking action to bring an end to domestic violence.

Forty Lashes

For the crime of innocence,
for the crime of truth,
for the crime of honesty,
for the crime of youth;

for the crime of love,
for the crime of hate,
for the crime of effort,
for refusing to wait.

For the crime of guilt,
for the crime of sinning,
for the crime of failure,
for the crime of winning;

for the crime of sadness,
for the crime of joy,
for the crime of gender,
for not being a boy.

For the crime of hope,
for the crime of despair,
for the crime of disinterest,
for the crime of care;

for the crime of calm,
for the crime of rage,
for the crime of peace,
for the crime of age.

For the crime of being right,
for the crime of being wrong,
for the crime of speaking,
for the crime of song;

for the crime of knowledge,
for the crime of sight,
for the crime of compassion,
for the crime of might.

For the crime of confusion,
for the crime of life,
for the crime of living,
for being a wife;

for the crime of tolerance,
for the crime of love,
for the crime of dying,
for there is no glove
to protect me from these eternal forty lashes...


Copyright (c) 2001 by Holly G.
All rights reserved