Only Suffer in Silence

Look at her
a face illuminated by street lamps, by passing cars
she watches, she waits
the expression on her face is one of… nothingness.

Look at her
dark circles under her eyes, a bruise on her cheek
hidden by her hair
the look in her eyes is one of… emptiness.

Look at her
what did he do? what do you do? while she’s
beaten and broken
one woman, one of many, living in… hopelessness.

Society sleepwalks, liberals shake their heads
say wise but empty words, while behind closed doors
this never ends.

A woman is killed every three hours in South Africa, according to police statistics – a rate five times the world average. Half are murdered by men with whom they had a close relationship.


Written in response to Sadjes What Do You See #56 photo prompt.
Image credit: Phmaxiestevez @ Pixabay
(The image shows a young woman looking out the glass pane of a partially open door, with an indecipherable expression).

46 thoughts on “Only Suffer in Silence

  1. This is a powerful piece, Chris! Here in Fresno, domestic violence has increased also. I often listen to our local police on Broadcastify.com and it seems like at least 50% of the calls they get are DV disturbances. You’re right, it is horrific. And then there are the emotional abusers that nobody ever suspects.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow, what a simple yet powerful poem. The message makes me angry that real women experience abuse like that everyday. (Don’t mind the poem nerd in me): I love how you delicately crafted this poem – every element within it felt like it was specifically made to hit the heart of it’s reader. The repetition, the imagery, powerful enjambment, selective diction… All used to shape this poem like an emotional arrow guaranteed to hit the right mark within your reader’s minds. This was clearly written by an expert who knew what they were doing. And I’m definitely the sort of reader that admires that craftsmanship.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Golly, I’m a little overwhelmed by your appreciative analysis! Delighted too 🙂 I was much moved by that statistic and that’s what puts passion into a poem. You’re definitely my kind of reader. Thanks so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It seems one is never too far from such. We had a neighbor who thankfully was able to get out of such a relationship – but it took a lot of work from other folks including other exes of the gent to get the woman’s bravery up to challenge and brake the hold.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a reply - I'd love to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.