Picking Up The Pieces

A spoken word poem about domestic violence.

He wolf whistles in the corridor and gets on with his day,
She quietly takes that piece of objectification and files it away.
Because hey, it’s just part of the culture here, so it must be okay. 

He gets home late at night looking for a fight with alcohol on his breath
She waits for it to be over and picks up the pieces of the slow death
That she can see coming to take her, but still she hopes it’ll get better 

And in the morning she does her best to hold the broken pieces of family together.
Because she thinks the kids need their father.
But instead they keep picking up pieces of their broken mother. 
And they would rather be anywhere else than here. 

And as they get older, their light grows duller from all the pieces they’re trying to shoulder
And as six becomes 16 their hearts grow colder from being so damn heavy
After 10 years of hiding tears and fears, now they’re supposed to be ready

Ready to face the real world. But they know it’s a damn cold place
Because they’ve already been filled with pieces of hate
Pieces of helplessness, and pieces of heartbreak
All forming a nightmare from which they can’t wake

And one day someone says their mum was to blame for all the lies and the pain
And that’s the last straw, they can’t take one more piece of shame.

So they use their fists on that person’s brain because that’s just the same
As what their father did, and it was never okay, but it was the only way
That they knew how to make all the pieces of anger and hurt go away,
because they had no say in the example that was put before them every single day.

So if you’re picking up the pieces, know it’s okay to put them on display. 
It might be hard for you to say when there’s so many factors at play
But who knows what a change it could make if you speak out today.

I’m asking you to be brave, even though you’re afraid to say what he did.
If not for you, do it for your kids, 
Because it’s not just about you, it’s about the next victim too.
Don’t be the one who looks back wondering, “How many lives could I have saved yesterday, if only I didn’t keep picking up the pieces and hiding them away.” 

– Lari

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