Fallen here, I cling to empty promises

Like my child (crying in my arms) clings

To tattered, stained security blanket –

The one with so many holes

That she still saw daddy

Smack mummy to the floor,

Even though she'd covered her eyes.

They flutter lifelessly, these

Paper lies, held in broken hand.

I cannot stand, though try I do

(He's gonna come back soon)

My wrist cries out in whimpering agony

As pins and needles prick their way

Through bruised head (and

Blackened skin sings in symphony) -

The chorus of a choir called pain.

And despite the sobs of my daughter

I hear him coming, returning angrily,

With curses slurred through drunken mouth.

- Quick! Hide! – frantic whispers scuttle

Worriedly, croaking out of chapped lips,

As my heartbeat spikes in horror –

She scrambles from me in terrified rush

To hide in creaking cupboards of claustrophobia

Among the rats and mice and monsters within

(far less scary than what I have to face)

She is petrified of the dark, but pulls

The closet to with no time to lose

As he stumbles onto me

Punching and kicking yielding flesh

Before pounding his way into me:

Rape – a husband's right.

I bite my cheek and pray

That she cannot hear his grunts

And my distressed whimpers

(The sin of self-deception)

Steel rods of agony

Slice through my groin

And when he is done he

Leaves me bloody (again)

Then falls asleep in drunken heap

Across my bloodstained lap

I am numb-

I think I slip in and out of

Tentative cosciousness

For when I open protesting eyes

To return to my world of pain

She is there, my toddler, eyes wide

And startled at my shame

Un-accusing sympathy seeps from her

As she cuddles into the crook of my

broken arm, plastered in blood

And I bestow those sweet endearments

Into her cheek, as she rests her head on mine

Even in this hell-spawned pit

Her innocence remains divine