If truly a husband’s words held up a wife’s head,
Then I would walk head bowed, with my shoulders bent,
The light that once danced in my eyes all but dead
My reservoir of peace and joie de vivre, spent.
The fist proceeding from your mouth delivers blows
Your snide remarks an open palm upon my face
I start to feel the familiar seed of hatred grow
Threatening to asphyxiate my beauty and my grace
As long as you can boldly say, “I never beat her”
What does it matter if my self-esteem is now in tatters?
Or that the shreds of my joy float away like paper,
When as far as the eye can see, I have no scars?
I am earth’s treasure, jewel of inestimable price,
My value abides in me, plentiful not sparse,
So I refuse to cower under the glare of your eyes
I hold my head up high, and they think I have no scars.
My face, my back, my limbs are smooth as baby’s bottom
There are no crutches, no band aids, no doctor’s letters,
And so my lashes, my pain and tears they cannot fathom
“Did he abuse you? And if he did where are the scars?”
Mountain or molehill, it makes no difference to me,
Strength lives in my heart to love, to forgive and stay;
But when tall mountain comes crashing into salty sea,
That very strength will guide this woman’s feet away.
For Hodiya, the resilient.