Sunday, March 1, 2009

tough love

Here is the final poem I'm going to bring forward this weekend. This is one of a series I've worked on that emerge from the issue of social exclusion and violence against women and girls, as well as their courage and resilience. If you want to read any more in the series, you can find them under the label see how she runs.

tough love

sometimes when the tension ran
too high and it was like a heat wave needing to
break the angry silence overwhelming she

looked forward to the moment when
he would hit her across the face breaking through
gridlock and her tears would

come then later they would make up
just like the old days fucking hard and holding
onto one another like lost souls her eye

still not finished swelling

Rachel Westfall
April 26, 2008


Robert said...

a sad subject violence against anyone especially women is something I have a hard time makes me wonder what triggers the thought process that leads to such behavior..good piece to bring the subject forward

Catvibe said...

You know, the synchronicity for you to have posted this is kind of astounding. The poem I posted yesterday is actually about this. Yup. Happened in my marriage 20 years ago.

sawan said...

domestic violence is sure not good. but some times things really get hard. i am not sure those could be termed as domestic violence.. i am still wondering.

Ravy said...

Painted a picture. Everytime I read your poetry I really see the whole thing in my minds eye. Good descriptive. I remember reading how they did this awful animal experiment where a rat was shocked daily on the bottom of his cage. When the rats cage was opened after a month of this happenning daily. The rat stayed inside even though still shocked. Seemed the known fear was preferable to the unknown one. It really works on your whole soul when you are abused. You find ways to escape when in the body and after that you find it hard to be grounded fully in your body.

Karen said...

How real and gritty this is. I have known women who have been in abusive relationships, and one told me once that she sometimes wanted it to happen to "get it over with" so they could be okay for a while. Terrible.

christopher said...


I too, don't really understand violence toward women, not without serious goading. You know there are women who do that, bait a man. But mostly it works the other way I am told.

Over at Butterfly Dreamer I will write poetry in response and it goes to this sort of thing in its way. I think of novelists, how they have to write their way into and out of situations that never happened. I do this in my poetry too. Here is one.

You Wouldn't Like Me If You Knew

I am sitting blank
trying to say what I know
but it holds me back
even as I am here
willing and I thought, no fear.
You said secrets keep
me sick and I know
how they erupt like boils do
yet shame blankets all.

RachelW said...

Robert, I don't know but it is such a familiar pattern. There must be something in our natures to bring it out so frequently.

Cat, wow... thank you for letting me know. I didn't realise your poem was on the same theme, and I reread it through a new lens.

Sawan, yes things do get hard, in every relationship. I think they go wrong when there's a power play involved, and that goes both ways.

Ravy, good to see you back here. Words of wisdom.

Karen, yes... it does work that way. Relief when the tension finally breaks.

Christopher, it's not good for anyone to bait another person, gender issues aside. Writing into and out of situations that never happened-- yes I do it too. Thank you for sharing this one.

Lisa said...

truth hurts hey
the truth of this piece is painful

Poetikat said...

This reminds me of the Sinead O'Connor song, "Jump In The River". Its brutal honesty is jarring - just like the slap in the face. You have captured the scenario with a harsh beauty.


RachelW said...

I don't know that song, Kat; will have to look for it.

Lisa, for sure... I know I've been in that place, where I'd rather be smacked than ignored.