Dirty Dishes- A Poem

This is dedicated to the victims and survivors of domestic abuse. This includes those who have been the victims of physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional torment.

A man looks down

upon his wife, her

purple eye glued shut

with crimson paste.


How disgusting,

the rise and decent

of her broken rib cage,

neighboring death.


He came so much

closer this time, but

its not his to to

finally be rid of her.


He heads to the kitchen

to pour a shot to toast

himself for a noble attempt

but every glass is dirty.


He grabs his key and

heads for the bar. He'll

finish her off tomorrow.

The bitch has work to do.


Tammy Swallow from Passion's Weather Fields 1998

Comments 67 comments

romari profile image

romari 5 years ago from Heaven

thanks for the great hub!!very interesting though its the reality


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Romari.. Glad you liked it. Thank you for being the first to comment!


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 5 years ago from Caledonia, MI

This one brought tears to my eyes Tami. Wonderful and real. Voted up.


ROBERTHEWETTSR profile image

ROBERTHEWETTSR 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Simply outstanding Tammy. I hope it is okay with you I am going to post a link to your poem and video on my Facebook page. Bob


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 5 years ago from California

Such a sad thing--you did a wonderful job with this piece--so well written--and often we see through the victim's eyes--to see through the abuser's eyes adds another level of palpability (is that a word??) to this piece---


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Love it Tammswallow:). Omg - have I seen that in reality.....I think those ladies should grab the keys and hit the high road when hubby's at the bar!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you Robert.. I appreciate you posting it.. Thanks for the kind words!

Thank you Cresentmoon.. I have done a lot of work as a woman's advocate and this comes from the pain of not being able to change the mindset of abused women.

Thank you Audrey.. compliments from a poet of your magnitude mean so much!

RealHouseWife- Thanks for reading. The sad reality is that so many woman are just too damaged and won't ever leave an abuser...even if they have children. It is something that breaks my heart..


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, so powerful, that was an amazing piece coming from the abusers point of view, very chilling and sadly so real in so many cases, the saddest thing is that the abused is so mentally worn out and scared they can't do the one thing that saves them, walk out of the door, nell


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

So true Nell. It is so sickening that so many people in this world feed off of the weak. There is a special place in.. for these people. Thank you for stopping by!


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

Minor proofread. Check it out and then scrap this comment. Mr. P.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you Perspy. I like all the help I can get. Think I fixed it.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Such a sad reality.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

It is sad.. espessially for the children. Thank you Susan.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America

A very interesting piece Tammy.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you Casgil.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

Intense, well done and awesome! I just published a letter to Farrah Fawcett hub and I wrote about abuse in their due to her movie the Burning Bed. I then thought...hmmmm it would be cool if I could find a hub to link to it and I just did! Thank you:)


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you. I means a lot. I have been warned about this hub and all the ads have been disabled. I wish there was more creative license here on hub pages and they could better distinguish what is "poetic" and what is just inapppropriate. I appreciate it my friend!


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago

Crude and real! Thanks for the awareness about this topic that affects both sexes.

LORD


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Great point Lord, it does affect both sexes. Males have a huge disadvantage when it comes to domestic violence. They are not allowed in shelters and there are no programs to protect them. Plus, there is a big stigmitism if they do complain. Thanks for that and thanks for reading!


thomas 4 years ago

tammy this piece is absolutely beautiful. I've always wondered how any man or woman could harm the person they consider their soul mate. When my wife left me several years ago she told me the reason was that I mentally abused her by keeping her down. What was funny was that when I meet her some 20 yrs before she was 18 and drinking and doing drugs and getting the you know what beat out of her by this guy that was 15yrs older than her. I had met her through a friend of mine and trusted her enough to let her move in with no questions asked after some time we became close and she realized that I cared for her and she eventually cared for me. For 16 yrs that we were married I gave my all taking care of her, her family and a baby girl that she had when she left me to return to her partying lifestyle. During the entire time I struggled keeping food on the table and a roof over her head while working two jobs and when I broke my back she walked out because she had to get a job to support the household so my question to you who do you thing was the abused and the abuser I never asked for it I wanted a divorce when she had the baby seeing it wasn't mine but I stepped up and took responsibility for a dope dealing friend of her family that knocked her up while I was out working. I still care about her and the little girl who will be 21 in January and she is mine by heart even though not by blood. I don't regret doing it but when your down where are all those people that you literally break your back to help and I broke mine physically.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thomas,

That breaks my heart. There are so many good men out there that give so much to women who are inherently damaged.

There are some things you just can't love out of others no matter what. Bless you for trying. It sounds like you gave it your all.. but the damage is irrevocable. It sounds like you made a big difference in the life of a child so all was not a waste.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your story. You give a lot of hope that there are still wonderful caring people out there in this world.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Sad topic. Beautifully written.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you Daisy Mariposa. Perhaps with our hubs, we can reach people and help change the things that trouble us. I appreciate you stopping by!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Such a powerful poem that hit the spot without a doubt.

Sad there has to be situations like this but it's reality I am afraid.

Thanks for sharing this gem.

Take care my friend:

Eddy.


Gypsy48 profile image

Gypsy48 4 years ago

Excellent poem Tammy. It's a shame that many women live this ugly reality.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you for your comment Eddy. I think we all have to address the things that bother us for the good of all. I appreciate the read!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

It really is Gypsy.. and especially sad for the children. Thank for your comment.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

excellent poem. Tammy. Great use of line breaks.... really enhances the message!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you so much PDX!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

you're welcome, Tammy!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Eeew, and that's for the sad reality this brings up. Otherwise, powerful words. Voting this Up and Interesting.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

It is not a pleasant subject is it Alocsin. Thanks for the read and your vote!


tsmog profile image

tsmog 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

(very long pause) Still pausing , , ,


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Aww.. thanks tsmog. This is a tough one. Thanks for visiting.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Wow! This was a powerful poem! I found this due to Vinaya's interview of you. I don't think that any additional words are necessary in this poem. These few words say it all and point out the horrors of domestic abuse. Voted up and useful. Tweeting this!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks so much for the read Peggy W. It means a lot!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Wow - that is all I got... very powerful!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks Barbergirl28. I appreciate the read!


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

HI Tammy... what a shame when you see visions of a man standing over a lady with intent to do harm. Maybe the best cure for him is after he has completed his beating is to toss him into a room of real men. Sometimes the best medicine out there is the hair of the dog.

Well written Tammy... a special hug to all ladies who have had this done to them.

Hugs from Canada


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

Well done Tammy... a hard read in the morning but certainly one that reminds me of the need for love and compassion.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 4 years ago

The hidden wounds take time to heal.Only love and understanding and never ending support helped someone I love deal with her problems.Years may never erase the pain but in your heart you can find a way to move on.I always like to think on the way home from the bar a hit and run driver gives the abuser the justice he deserves.Especially when he seen it coming.Deeply emotional and real to life poem.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime

Among those dirty dishes should have been a cast-iron skillet. A victim of abuse has a right to defend self. I feel so sorry for women, especially, who are afraid, or do not know how to walk away from a possible killing. Too many stayed around too late.

I was a victim of domestic violence, but one day I was forced to defend myself, and soon after, I walked away forever. I admit that I should have left sooner, but I was in love, uninformed, and thought that the problem would get better. To make a long story short, he is well, but he will meet Jesus with some permanent tattoos.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks so much for reading and commenting Rolly. I think your suggestion is the best so far.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

That is some very deep and poetic justice for abusers Dream On. Your comment is beautiful in itself. Thanks so much for reading and sharing that powerful statement.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Good for you Levertis!! So many women have such low self esteem that they stay in these torrid situations. I think that girls should have self esteem classes early in childhood or something to help those who don't obviously learn what is acceptable in their own homes. Thanks for your thoughtful comment!


mottiandbander profile image

mottiandbander 4 years ago from Chd

Thanks for sharing such a great poem and the message is so nice. i can see everyone is participating with you to see the huge number of comments. Really it's a great issue and we have to do work for it.

Thanks again for this nice one. Welcome . Voted up.

Motti and bander


rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

I connect to such misery... I have seen it... And seeing it has broken my childhood mentally...

Sad, morose, Fragile

A soul lost, bereft in exile

Is God blind or too ignorant

His child someone's mother faces such torment

I urge thou to supply me valor

I wish to kill such vice I cannot see her more pallor!

Great work! The message should be out!


HattieMattieMae profile image

HattieMattieMae 4 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

Very nice! Thanks for spreading the awareness! :)


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

That is beautiful rahul0324. I too have seen it and it drives me to anger and makes me want to change it. You should turn this into a hub.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks so much HattieMattieMay! :)


Vincent Moore 4 years ago

The message was there and unfortunately the fear as well. I've seen it in my own youth as my mother was badly abused if a meal wasn't placed before the monster hot. If it was not to his liking he threw it across the room and pushed her to the floor to pick it up. I cried a lot as a boy, very poignant piece my friend. It drew up some very sad bad memories for me as a boy.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

I am sorry it brought back bad memories Vincent Moore. These words come a very dark place that I too wish I could forget. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts.


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

This is a reality. Very interesting Tammy.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime

Vincent Moore:

I can identify with your situation as a boy. My ex-husband was a habitual cheater and did not mind telling me that I should understand that all men cheat, and it did not mean that they were in love with the other women. It was all just fun, he said.

Once he was getting ready to go on his usual weekend trip. He never told me where he was going. He just said that he would visit friends. Before he left one day, he asked me to cook one of his favorite meals and he would be back soon to eat it. He asked me to cook the meat for two hours. He gave me instructions because he was an excellent and practiced cook. I did as he requested and tried to make everyting else perfect because I thought that he would spend the weekend at home. I was excited. He left on Friday and came back in the early hours of Monday morning. He tricked me in order to leave without a protest. To teach him a lesson, I had cooked the meat for hours, and would have cooked it until he returned, as he requested, but I did not want to burn the house down. The meat was burned to a crisp and was as hard as the pot that it was stucked to. He was so angry at my gesture of punishment for him that he threw me across his lap and spanked me until he was tired. I weighed 105, and was 5', 4", and he weighed 220, and was 6',1" by comparison. I suppose I could have avoided the abuse, but I was so hurt by his constant tricks he played to get away. The irony is that he was a law enforcer.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks Unknown Spy! :)


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Wow Levertis,

You have been through so much. It is a shame that people are so abusive and take advantage of the love we have for them. I am glad he is an ex husband! Have you ever thought about sharing your story to empower others? I am glad you shared this. I am sure it will help those in that same situation. Stay strong and thanks for reading.


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

Words that gave me chills...I think I sat with my eyes opened really wide as I sat there emotionless after I read them I now feel my brain ruminating, sent me in a little bit of a spiral. OMG! Whomever this was about...oh my! :(

Disturbing and honest and gut wrenching!

So much emotion!

Please write more poetry!


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

omg...such a strong message delivered in such little words. Tammy, this was beautiful yet heart rendering.

sharing it across!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks so much AudraLeigh. I had a bunch of poetry up on Hubpages at one time. The short content hurt my score and it was pretty much ignored. I may try publishing it somewhere that is poetry friendly. Thank you for your kind words!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you for reading Ruchira. It is a very sensitive subject for many.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Very powerful write Tammy. How can a man be so selfish and inhuman.

Up and beautiful. Shared it on FB.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks for the share Rajan. This is such an epidemic and perhaps an abusive man will read this and gain some perspecitve.


shruti sheshadri profile image

shruti sheshadri 4 years ago from Bangalore, India

Great work, a very interesting poem tammy! voted up! :)

Glad to know u, take care :)


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you Shruti! It is a pleasure to meet you on Hubpages!


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

Beautiful poem! Very sad but well written. Thanks for sharing this few words but with great message for us to be aware of this problem. I´ll share it in fb and here in HP.


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 4 years ago

So sad poem . I do hope they will have a solution on the dirty dishes.


jhamann profile image

jhamann 4 years ago from Reno NV

I wish everyone could be free of violence in any form. Thank you for taking a hard look at a very real problem. Jamie

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