Maybe if I pretend I’m not breathing.

Maybe if I scream loud enough.

Maybe if I can get out of this room.

Maybe if I can get the clip away from him.

Maybe if I can tell him I need water.

Maybe if I can make it out the door.

Maybe I can make it to my friend’s house.

Maybe if I call the police they’ll protect me.

Maybe if I ducked fast enough I’d be okay.

Domestic violence isn’t funny. It doesn’t happen once. It terrorized me.

My things would come up missing only to be found burned in the back yard. I wasn’t allowed rest because of the mocking from outside my bedroom door that I had to put a lock on to keep him from raping me again. I couldn’t go to my friends without having to check in frequently to make sure I wasn’t doing anything inappropriate which I didn’t.

The first time he hit me was with both of his palms smacked into my shoulders pushing me backwards. I was so surprised that I didn’t respond. When he started going for the face, that was the most difficult. When he pulled the gun I’d gotten for personal protection, putting it to my head, I didn’t want to die. I didn’t want him to be the cause of my death. I chose to flee.

I read years later that he said he didn’t want a divorce. Then why would you beat on your wife? Why would you pull a gun on her? Why would you blame her for your shortcomings? I don’t regret leaving him. I only regret not doing so sooner.

If you’re in a domestic violence situation, or are uncertain whether or not your experiences are abuse, please contact Domestic Violence Hotline, or call 800-799-SAFE (7233). If you have been sexually assaulted, yes, even by your husband/partner/boyfriend/girlfriend, you can find help at R.A.I.N.N. (Rape And Incest National Network) by visiting their website at rainn.org or calling 800 656 HOPE (4673)

You are not alone. Help is out there. You will be okay.

Cost of Living

Candle of Hope

How much am I worth to you?

Another theater, another school?

Another place where people gather

Out in public, or doesn’t it matter?

How much can I pay you for

your children’s blood on classroom floors?

How much is the fiance’ worth

if she’s wedding before the baby’s birth?

Tell me, because I don’t want your guns

you can keep them, I’m wanting none.

If you collect or if you hunt

I have no interest in killing your fun.

But any sane person should agree

that these “daily” mass killings are a spree

With romanticized violence the law of the land,

as responsible owners, please take a stand.

Show them what it means to be smart

Give us something, someplace to start


I don’t want to be afraid to go to the store

become another pawn in this domestic war

If it happens to one it’s a tragedy

but if it happens to more, a statistic you’ll be

Terrorism doesn’t have the brown skin like we’re told

It’s the murderer’s body count, sin chillingly cold.

October, 2011: The Spider Dance

Every night for the past two weeks we’ve had a large garden spider build its web on our porch post. I’m not a particular fan of spiders, but this one was large enough to witness many events of its life. I watched as it caught bugs in its record album web. It pulled huge holes in its hard work to wrap up its latest victim.  If I blew on the web, it would raise up its front legs with the second set waving violently to protect its domain. I sort of “adopted” this spider because it carried on despite my fascination with it.

 Last night, however, there was an epic battle in the circle of life that I was fortunate enough to witness.

The web was built in the spiraling pattern with my “pet” sitting square in the middle. He had already enjoyed a tasty snack on a couple of larger bugs that landed and promptly became trapped. For most of the evening a smaller wolf spider kept trying to get up into the center only to be chased off by the larger garden spider that called my porch home.

The pushing of boundaries didn’t seem to be working for the wolf spider all that well. Whenever it would get close, the garden spider would drop down, hiss (if that’s what that noise was) and the smaller spider would back off by turning and spinning away smoothly on it’s own addition to the web. This repeated for a few hours. Test, guard, retreat, try again.

I wasn’t feeling well so I went out on the porch to sit in the noisy night. I noticed that the little wolf spider was still trying to take over the larger spider’s domain. This time, the tactic had changed. Instead of the wolf spider attempting to move in from the bottom of the web, it had climbed up the post and was trying a horizontal instead of vertical approach. Cautiously, the wolf spider crept farther and farther towards the center where the garden spider sat, seemingly unawares of the invasion.

The wolf spider rushed towards the center, but the garden spider, realizing his peril, pushed back the onslaught with wildly waving forefeet. The wolf spider turned and ran, but not to the edge of the web as he had been doing. He only retreated a few inches before turning to once again attack. As the wolf spider moved forward, the garden spider refused to retreat. He pushed forward and again drove the attack back.

When the two spiders did get close enough, the waving of the front four legs from both of them was truly amazing. I’d never seen spiders fight before, so I was quite fascinated. Waving madly, they both held their part of the web with violent tenacity. Neither one would allow any give. If the garden spider moved forward, the wolf spider’s legs would seemingly get stuck in the web. If the wolf spider moved forward, the garden spider raised up to its full height and punched viciously.

“Oh my God!” ripped from my lips when the wolf spider, without warning, leaped forward and had the garden spider wrapped tightly within its deadly embrace. It appeared to be stinging the garden spider with its rear end. The front legs of the garden spider were waving madly and not finding any purchase as it hung from a strand of its own web. The wolf spider relentlessly gripped the garden spider’s hind quarters. A shiny jelly-like substance oozed down the garden spider’s belly. The once frantic legs twitched slightly as the wolf spider ate. A few more twitches and my “pet” spider became the hunted and killed.

UPDATED THE NEXT DAY: Spider okay, turns out they were just mating rather violently. I feel dirty.


I don’t want to know the killer’s name or how it did its deeds.
I want to know the wo/men’s lives because therein lies the key.
To make the dead, neither sinner nor saint
but to revive their lives that are stained with the taint
of the bloodied hands of a death most gruesome
the details don’t matter in all the confusion
except to remember the lives that were lost
not glorify the murderer of stolen future’s cost

Jedi Garden

Your sugar-coated violence was used

to coax my sympathetic heart back

from where I felt safe

from where I felt protected

from where I felt alive

from where I could be myself

instead of a role that you glued on my back

a role that I allowed to be superimposed

a lampshade to dim my light which shined anyway

Did it ever occur to you

that once you punched me

that once you slapped me

that once you pushed me down

that once you pulled my gun on me

that maybe, just maybe,

you shot me alive

by demonstrating the very reason

I could no longer stay by you

because you’d have destroyed

the very me I’ve become,

a light to guide others through

the loss of their power.

Had you succeeded

the skies would have gone dark

My tears of mourning would have drowned me

I gratefully would have rejoiced in the absence of me.

These Are My People: Peacock Feathers

Peacock Feathers

Peacock Feathers

From her lips, anguish spewed

like a witch’s window skewed

Hurricanes of self pity storms

Anchors of the loveless mourned

Eden justified with words then spoken

Taking up arms, to mend the broken.

The potent omens

the yet sung dirge

balked faith healers

faithful purge.