Captive by Michael Peck

She was frightened
of the coming night,
even though his mouth
and tongue could be soft
his razor-sharp words
slashed her heart,
a ritual nightly slashing
disguised as discussion.
One that was never won
there was no winning
only recovery
strengthening of the mind.
letting the fine
red scars heal in silence.
the endless prayers
tasted of old grease from the bottom
of the grill
stuck in her throat
fed on daily
in the mind of repentance
for not being strong enough
to leave – run – change.
the chain bound tight
wearing deep into the flesh-
the only dream of freedom
a blue Jay
who would land on the branch
above her head
and fly away at will.

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