Finally, he agreed to leave
On one condition
I had to swear that
I Would not start a new relationship
For at least two years
Because that would be disrespectful
I kept my mouth shut. Again.
But in my head, I said to him:
Let me tell you about disrespectfulness.
You disrespected me each time you slapped me.
You disrespected me each time you pushed me.
You disrespected me each time you punched me.
You disrespected me each time you kicked me.
You disrespected me each time you spat on me.
You disrespected me each time you stole from me.
You disrespected me each time you lied to me
You disrespected me each time you controlled me.
You disrespected me each time you raped me.
And now I am free,
And now, I have self-respect.
I do not need yours,
And you do not have mine.
The wretched sun has risen once again,
He steals my dreams and returns my sorrow,
Must I endure another day of pain
When I know he will do the same tomorrow?
Words become swords which then cut out my tongue,
I cannot be heard from the circles of Hell.
Chained to the Devil, my songs go unsung,
The gift that you gave me, rots in my cell.
Do I even exist? Was I not born?
Am I a spectre or a ghostly sprite?
Bring forth the snow and bring forth the storm,
Bring forth my death, if I cannot have life!
The battlefield clears, I reclaim my shield
My deepest scars are the ones that don’t bleed.
Imagine if your war was fought daily,
in the living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom.
Your home is your theatre.
The supermarket is your theatre.
The bus, the car, the train –
these are all your theatres.
You are never off stage,
There is no intermission.
And when the final curtain falls,
And the theatre of war has cleared,
A new battle begins –
But this battle is worth the fight.
For at the end,
When you lay down your sword
And lower your shield,
You will be free,
And your war
Becomes a memory.
(In 10 easy steps!)
Sara Dennis is a writer and musician from Guisborough, North Yorkshire, UK. Her poetry and prose have been published in various literary magazines and her book, ‘Stories from the Memory Lane Café’, was published in 2017. Sara has released three albums of original contemporary folk music and performs regularly around the UK. Her work is infused with, fairy-tale imagery, magic realism, literature and historical inspiration. Sara is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing.