The kitchen waltz

Did not have a rhythm

Of harmony or grace

As I beheld the fury

The red-eyed, cornered grip

Fixed upon your face.

The muscle ripple of your arm

Your poisonous words

Your alcoholic vapor.

No escape,

No escape,

To friend, police or neighbour.

Trapped tense, back snapped

Shaking cold with fear Shh…

The boys sleep so near.

Talk calm, talk down

Reassure, placate, disarm

Walk slow across the kitchen floor.

Push shove

Against the bedroom wall

Nearly free, but no…crack

My spine

Against the bedhead bites.

A shower sob, a locked door cry

You hurt me so I want to die.

Dress, dry, arrange

Place you soft in bed

Check the boys

And kiss their heads.

Sleep beside you

Say, “It’s alright”

Plot to leave throughout the night.

You snore in peace.

From this nightmare

I dream of my release.

by a Broken to Brilliant domestic violence survivor, author and poet.

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