Almost 25% of all U.S. women have experienced domestic violence.
He finally broke my glasses.
The company claimed indestructibility.
But I knew better,
Even then, years ago,
I told the saleswoman, nothing lasts forever.
Most things hardly last at all.
But she was almost right,
The glasses lasted longer than most.
When I thought my face would never hold a pair
Between the broken nose and eyes to match,
The glasses waited on the hospital tray,
For an hour or a day, once for a week.
Rising, I would put the wire rims on my shame
And he would pick me up a block away
In his blue Ford, full of apologies and promises.
The ride never lasted long enough.
As the sun rises against my blurred hospital bed,
I cradle the cracked, delicate lenses
And gradually lift them to my face.
I know forever when I see it.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, you can get help. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) & 1.800.787.3224 (TTY) for ANONYMOUS and CONFIDENTIAL HELP 24/7. Calling may be safer than using your computer since computers can be monitored.
If you are a healthcare worker, your patients have experienced domestic violence. Are you screening them? Do you know that domestic violence leads to lead to over 73,000 hospitalizations and 1,500 deaths? Feel free to read more at US Dept. of Health and Human Services’ page where there are programs and tools for healthcare workers on domestic violence.
If you work, encourage your employer to create a comprehensive workplace response to domestic violence. It DOES effect your workplace. Absenteeism, increased healthcare costs, reduced productivity and the fact that we are ALL human beings even at work.
If you have four friends, you may have a friend suffering from domestic violence. It happens to all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and social statuses. Please take the time to learn, pray educate and donate.
These statistics and information are a conglomeration of the Family Violence Prevention Fund, the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Best Business Bureau, and US Department of Labor. The poem is by me. No magazines wanted it but it was published in a local chapbook, ‘Sound and Sense,’ and my friend who runs a writing workshop for women in prison asked to use it.