the frequent apology

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: January 11, 2012

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Submitted: January 11, 2012



a balloon half-filled with helium

hovers five inches or so below the ceiling of the


a few feet away from the time clock &

on a table near the balloon,

a sympathy card bearing the signatures of most of the


who work at the plant

sits on the table

waiting for her to enter.


when she does enter,

with her head bent down towards the ground,

some of the female employees waiting to punch in

stop their talking

as if they were anticipating a public beheading,

and welcome her back---

when she raises her head,

the bruises, this time,

take up more color than the normal pigment of her

face &

the purpling gets worse towards the eyes

where the bleeding beneath the skin was so bad

it is blackened & puffy.


most of the women do not pretend that what has

happened in their

coworker’s past,

did not lead to this point &

they walk up individually to speak in quiet tones

directly to her

tip-toeing on eggshells

not wanting all the information

but wanting to be able to express concern &

hoping that the man responsible

is locked up in a cage now

where her can’t get to her---

the collective want in the room for justice

is unanimous.


and before the traumatic brain injury landed her in the


she let him plead his “case,”

as she had so many times before---

this time, the apology was followed with blame

bestowed upon her head with the heavy side of the

blender sitting

on the kitchen counter,

just inches away from where they’d been arguing---

as that wasn’t enough,

he followed up the initial blows

with fists &

on it went

until everything went dark.


this time,

the frequent apologies,

the buying of flowers,

the casting of money her way after roughing her up a

bit &

the making of excuses in the workplace

for what really happened,

can no longer be tolerated---


what has brought her to this place

will not be let go by the people who love her &

fortunately for her,

she has such people to protect her

from what now,

is all too obvious &

the big changes in her life that need to come,

can no longer be put on hold

for the make-believe paradise

when he would have finally exercised all his demons


appreciated her for who she was.


had she been better off financially,

she would have been able to stay home &

let the damage heal---

would things have turned out different if that had been

the case?

another excuse,

another beating,

another apology,

another beating,

another excuse,

another apology,

another beating,

another apology,

another excuse---


would she be alive to return to work at all.

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