This poem was sent in to us by poet Jeff Cook, and it really highlights the huge domestic violence problem that exists.
If you measure a lifetime in years, it is true that she’d not have been classified old
Though her hair was just tending to grey instead when it still should be flaxen or gold
But the sorrow and heartache she’d suffered had seen her age so much faster than years
And her neighbours ignored all the thuds and the thumps at night, and her whimpers – and tears
They couldn’t help her as her husband came home drunk again from a night on the beer
They’d have heard every night as he yelled from the gate but no way would they “interfere”
Night after night it was always the same – tea too hot, or too cold, or too dry
They would hear the fists hit, and sometimes the boot and they couldn’t but help hear her cry
She appeared to be friendless (p’raps no-one was game to acknowledge her cuts and her bruises)
But if someone had asked her it’s certain that she’d have denied his attacks and abuses
They would all turn their backs when she walked in the street but they’d talk about her when she’d passed
And they’d say it’s a terrible shame and she was such a beautiful girl in the past
They’d approve of the fact that the boy that she had looked much more like her than like him
And they’d say that her case was as bad as they’d seen and her future looked dismal and grim
They would talk with each other of what they would do if their husband once raised his fist
But for all of their fears for the woman in need they never once tried to assist
The teachers who taught the young lad must have known that he seldom was properly fed
And the strain on his face would have given a hint even if the words were left unsaid
But the other kids teased him (like schoolchildren do) and the teachers ignored that as well
Mum and son suffered hell that nobody should ‘cause they both lacked the courage to tell.
It’s not of her making the trouble she’s in and the problem is not hers alone
Though it had to be his fault that he’s like he is, but the trouble is, those who have known
Didn’t do what they could to lighten her load – never let themselves get involved
Yet I’m sure that assistance from family and friends could have helped all her problems be solved
* * * * * *
Yes, now they are rallying to do what they can, why could they not do it before
She’s now charged with murder, for when he bashed the boy she just couldn’t take anymore
And she acted in anger and haste and in hate – never more would he ever abuse her
Now I’ll ask of her family, each neighbour and friend, would YOU be the first to accuse her?
If you or anyone you know is suffering from domestic violence, please call 1800-RESPECT or the police.
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