the road is closed ahead

what if you wore pain

like a sweater in summer

what if it were tangible, visible

what color would abuse be

i remember mood rings

and lipsticks that changed

red or blue or pink or orange

thought to be a public service

it was bullshit

but there was someone trying

the rage and disgust piled and heaped

forced onto the backs of women

they carry it without complaint

a beast of burden has no voice

it simply does what it’s told

when tired or hungry or slow

it’s beaten

it’s struck with anything

the closest handy dandy weapon

we all knew the bitter hatred

eyes swollen shut, knots on the head

distinguishable fingerprints

the whirly swirly mark of you alone

around the throat leaving a mute mess

weakness and frailty were gifts

that is how a proper lady behaves

perfect for a predator just easy prey

tides change and consent to abuse

is no longer conditioning but a choice

there were emergency exits a-plenty

but the lessons were not learned

the words were repeated verbatim

without meaning or comprehension


there is a girl screaming

there is a girl bleeding

there is a girl begging

but it’s played out like a silent movie

a mime trapped in a box

the hope and light and love fade

the beautiful dancing daughter

laughter a whisper for others

the olive skinned girl with bouncing curls

has come in last place in your rat race

the sacred contract written in blood

was broken years ago

promises whispered in tiny ears

forgotten, lost, broken

bruises, threats, neglect, dismissal

a daughter tapped into survival

there were warnings flashing red

the all of her will be destroyed

the fire will be extinguished

the wants and needs and comfort

the selfishness a big red boot

weakness, fear, loneliness, guilt, discontent, shame, misery, irresponsibility, thoughtlessness, immaturity, immoral, erratic, absence

unattainable, unavailable luxuries

fool’s gold and glass diamonds

isn’t her sparkle, her dance imperative

or is it a burnt offering to the ego




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