If only he wrote poems for
her like Byron did those
whom he knew, if only her
man took time to put pen
to paper, rather than his fist
to her cheek or jaw or pushed
her to the floor to have his way.
She liked the Byron book, kept
it by her bed or in her bag to
take out to read to suck the
words to her head. If only her
man had the good grace to
speak in such a way to make
her feel loved or needed, not
talked to like something on the
end of his shoe or poked about
till black and blue. Maybe one
day he will changed, she mused,
maybe he’ll speak to her in finer
tones in lovers’ words in softer
voice in kinder ways, as if some
inner fire blazed, not bellowed
at or cursed or punched till dazed.
She opened the book and read
her favourite lines, the words
caressed her, brought her joy
and enlightenment, not like him
and his dark side, violence, brutality
and punishment. Reading out loud
is difficult when her lips are swollen
or her bruised eyes are closed by
his vicious rage, then the words
sit silent on the open white page.
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