There’s a lull in the middle of the night.
There's no yelling, punching, crying.
No one begging for him to stop.
There are no sons sitting in the corner with covered ears and tears streaming down their faces.
No daughters plotting revenge.
Should be asleep, yet still wide awake replaying the noises of the day.
Rehearsing how I’ll fight if he ever comes for me that way.
Wondering why no one says anything.
Looking toward the window, I notice day attempting to break through.
Soon everyone will be awake.
Pretending not to notice the bruises he left
or the screams heard the night before.
We will walk on eggshells, wear our best fake smiles,
pretend that all is well.
See, we've been taught to ignore our pain, even if it kills us.
Only here for the summer,
so as soon as this summer ends, things can go back to normal.
I won’t have to pretend that I don't hear the screams for help,
or that I don't see her purplish-black eye,
or that I don't notice my brothers growing bitter inside as they watch their mother’s spirit die.
But my fear is that it will be hard to go back to normal.
I’ve witnessed so many beatings, the sight of abuse no longer makes me ill.
My fear is that I’ll be her 20 years from now…
That thought gives me chills.
When Fall is here, I cannot un-see the bruises.
Winter and Spring, I’ll still hear the screams.
I carry the pain of summer with me long after the summer ends.
And before you know it, its time to go back and pretend.
To think, summer used to be my friend.
I Just Believe Ministries, Inc.
Federal Tax ID #42-2604360
P.O. Box 90514
Washington DC 20090