No Other Way

To you, it’s easy
‘Just leave him’, you say
As if it’s just that simple
Thing is, there’s love in his fists
And affection in his eyes
He always whispers ‘I love you’
As he doles out the beatings
And reminds her he never
Wants to hurt her
She’s lucky, you see
To have him
In front of others, he’s always affectionate
The perfect father
Hardworking husband
Behind painted walls and closed curtains
He’s never gone without
The door frames are all warped
And the mirrors are cracked and dirty
Handprints smudged on the edges
And the doors themselves
All lock from the outside
To you, it’s easy
To her, this is all it will ever be
and she can’t see any other way


tara caribou | ©2019

Read this and more in my poetry book, Four.

13 thoughts on “No Other Way

  1. The theme of this is abhorrent, and your poem captures it perfectly. As an outsider all is black and white, and, as observers, we find it difficult to understand how leaving seems so hard, but your fourth line sums up how trapped people can become superbly. Hard to read, but fine writing, Tara.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Agree, yes, the contradiction of “love in his fists”. This is the very abhorrence of too much co-dependency, which inevitably leads to power abuse by one of the parties, in this case, the husband.

      Leaving is so hard when basic human needs are not met as Maslow’s hierarchy shows. If physiological needs (food, water, warmth, rest), and safety needs (financial security through our own money, job…), are not guaranteed intimate relationships are greatly affected and most probably doomed. As men have traditionally been the money bringers for women, the sustainers, no wonder the female gender is still more prone to abuses.

      Liked by 2 people

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