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As Venus chases the Moon
Through the night of October's sky,
I forget the song
And can't recall the tune.
All I remember is the pain of the lie.
All my illusions of love,
You returned them all
To my face.
Stunned and phased.
Never to you, my hand,
Would I have raised.
I hit you with words.
My punch was my voice.
Despite your warning
It was not my choice
A lousy birthday gift.
-L. R. Haynes
A Short Discourse Upon This Poem.
Some six months after the incident which transpired, I wrote this poem
in an attempt to come to terms with the emotional distress I was feeling as a
result of the physical abuse I suffered as a consequence of involving
myself with a woman who I thought I knew better than I apparently
did. I never in my life thought I would find myself in a physically
abusive relationship. I should have walked away after the first time it
happened but I didn't. I stayed. My mistake. This poem is in reference
to the second time she hit me, just a day or two before my birthday. The
resulting black eye I made into a joke. I said, "yeah, this is all she gave
me for my birthday!" This was a cover up. The reality of the matter was
that I was ashamed of my situation and so for the first time in my entire
life I avoided my family and did not get together with them to celebrate my
The woman with whom I was involved is petite, so while she was
quick, her punch fortunately was not overly painful, nothing broken. Well,
maybe my pride. My self-esteem. The emotional pain of those experiences
was the most difficult aspect with which to deal. I was in a state of shock
and confusion. "I loved her, how could she do that to me?" was the question
in my mind. I wanted to show her my love, my forgiveness. I tried but it
seemed only to be rejected in favor of her need to argue and denigrate me as
the source of her problems. While I made mistakes, I know she is no angel.
My primary observation after each time that she hit me was that I had
spoken from my mind and heart. I spoke my honest feeling regarding the matter
at hand and it subsequently was handed back in the form of her fist. I
could have returned the favor, but I was raised to respect women. Violence in
general, is an action I shun. Violence toward women I detest. Violence from a
woman is baffling. I firmly believe that speaking my mind and being honest about
my feelings does NOT justify her violence toward me. I was not insulting her, or
being rude or disrespectful. I was calling her out on her bullsh!t. It
was because I dared to question her ill logic, poor decision making, and need to
blame it on me(or anyone else but herself) that she felt obliged to punch
me. Apparently, some people can't handle the truth about themselves.
In closing, I will say that I still hold love in my heart for this woman. Not
from any hope of being with her again, but from a need to forgive. The more I
learned about who she really was inside, the sadder I became. I realized
much too late that she has never learned the value of forgiveness. Growing
up, she never had a model of love demonstrated for her. She was regularly
verbally and physically abused, emotionally neglected, distrusted, and
relegated to coping on her own. In light of all this, I errored in my
handling of our arguments. For this, I wonder if I have made her more
cynical. I know I inspired her hatred for me. I doubt she will forgive
me. My prayer is that her heart will be softened, that she will learn how
to forgive and thus find the fulfillment of love that results. I in turn
must let go, let live, and give myself to the fullness of forgiveness
-L. R. Haynes
December 23, 2010.