Flesh and Blood

Mum waits till he goes quiet,
She clambers off the floor,
Inspects the mirror for wounds,
From another night of war.

She winces as she touches,
The bruise around her eye,
Blood drips from her bottom lip,
She slowly starts to cry.

I’m hiding in my bedroom,
Afraid to show my face,
The enemy still stalks the halls,
His rage turned to disgrace.

“I’m sorry Babe” he weeps,
His remorse makes me sick,
Expecting us to pity him,
For being such a prick.

A stream of excuses follow,
Soaked in beer and cigarettes,
“The AB’s played a shocker,”
“The TAB rigged the bets.”

Mum repeats the usual ritual,
Tidies up the lounge in silence,
Hopes it’s enough to hide her shame,
Of love returned with violence.

She’s lived a hundred battles,
Makeup hides the scars,
But shattered glass and confidence,
Deeply cut the heart.

My little sister cries,
Reaches out to grab my hand,
Her saucer eyes already know,
It hurts to love a man.

One day when I am bigger,
I’ll stand in front of Mum,
Smash Dad, send him flying,
See how he enjoys the fun.

I’ll punch the rage right off his face,
Beat him till he drops,
I’ll kick him in the stomach,
Till he’s begging me to stop.

But wait.  I shake my head,
It’s a war I cannot win,
Acting out my anger,
Means I’ll end up just like him.

I refuse to honour his mistakes,
Repeat his sorry ways,
I will not hit the re-play,
I will stop this rage and hate.

I will grow to be a strong man,
Who’s not afraid to fight,
Win against my demons,
Turn my darkness into light.

I’m going to love my woman,
Like my father never could,
With warmth, respect and kindness,
Like a real man would.

They’ll be no blood spilled on my floor,
No crying in the dark,
My kids will learn that courage,
Is a man who shows his heart.

© Lisa Nimmo  21/07/16

Lisa Nimmo is an author, poet and mum of two teenagers, based in Wellington New Zealand. To receive more poems like these direct to your inbox, enter your details here:

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