beware


seeing stars on the way down
knocked flat
no warning.
i wasn’t really hungry anyway.

physical abuse
is preceded
by insidious, biting ridicule
that quietly erodes the ego necessary
for self-preservation.

contempt and scorn
are the daily bread of the dis-loved woman
she can not complain
she has no one left to listen
eventually she capitulates
at last believing
that abuse is what she deserves.

i have come to believe
that the abuser loves the challenge
of besting a strong woman.
i was not so much battered,
as conquered.

if i had only read
The Taming of the Shrew
instead of Romeo and Juliet
i might have been
at least
forewarned.

beware the charming man


(c) 2020 BGeiger

get away day



long ago, but not far enough away
mommy we have to leave before he kills you
oh my god
they know
and they are afraid

my heart aches even now
remembering their faces
my little girls
mommy please
they know

we made a plan
two paper bags
one change of clothing
walk out the back
knock on a door
ask for help
end of plan

make a plan, even a bad plan
never go back

they saved my life, i know that now
and just so you know
they know
they always know.

(c) 2020 BGeiger

whispers


love may be poison
wrapped up in ribbons,
a slow suffocation of all that seemed shining,
a promise of dark dreams
stinging with terror,
as violence lurks behind yesterday’s flowers

she is cut to the bone,
with whispers and smiles.
this is not love, this is raw, wicked power.
it is rape, with soft words
leaving torn, jagged wounds
on the bright, bloody shards
of the soul of his lover.

the shadow of fear, falls cold as the night
as hearts search in darkness,
for truth without lies.

(c) 2020 BGeiger

on leaving


go, or stay, but do not think
that if you wait it might get better
that the first time will be the last time,
don’t excuse the violence,
it is not just stress or job or no job or money or no money,
an abuser will be abusive
no matter the circumstance
the sad truth is that once it starts, it will always, only, ever, get worse

when is it time to leave?
when you realize that no one,
not even god, will change him for you,
when you no longer care about what you are leaving behind,
when your children tell you that it’s time to go,
it is

when you decide to leave, just do it
don’t pack more than you need,
don’t leave a note,
don’t call your mother,
don’t involve your friends,
don’t waste time gathering things that you are not willing to die for
and whatever you do,
don’t go back,
don’t ever go back,
no matter how sorry he seems
you must know that if you give him the chance
the abuser will get even


(c) 2020 BGeiger

the grave

the shining bride
who promised life and love
may take comfort in oath well kept
though little else gives ease to her thin bones

once sweet romance has shivered quietly
into her lonely, frozen grave
she offers up the polished doors to living hell
as consolation prize

the desperate clutch of fantasy
leaves desiccated weeds where gardens flourished
in the summer of her dreams
and the broken bride walks slowly toward
the dreadful ending of her fairy tale

(c) 2020 BGeiger

alone

it is dark
and quiet
the loudest sound in the room is the beating of my heart
i can feel blood rushing through my veins
the sounds of my life are deafening

the silence is palpable
i should have felt peaceful
but i wished for someone to talk with
or love

once again, i tell myself that no one will hurt me tonight
i don’t have to be afraid anymore

today i would tell my younger self to get a dog
and a library card


(c) 2020 BGeiger

rain

img_4229-mtry-sunset be veryangry


burning black sand,
extravagantly bright flowers
quite suddenly dripping with warm rain
that pounds the earth with unreasonable fury

in a moment, the rain is gone
and the sand is burning hot again

violence is not rain
it does not simply stop.
bravery is necessary
yet one time more than you believe is in you

run
before you cannot



(c) 2020 BGeiger

the devil you know

IMG_9637


it is a sad fact,
many victims of abuse
will go back to their abusers.

there are many reasons,
but often it’s because the devil you know
is not as frightening
as the devil you don’t know.

starting over is hard
when you leave with nothing
but your life.

promises of true love
and new beginnings
can be tempting.

unfortunately,
the devil you know
will get even.
the devil you know
will
hurt you again.

because
the devil you know
is still the devil.


(c) 2020 BGeiger

abuse

IMG_1400


interpret the word however you like.
if you have no power in your relationship,
no control over your own life
and no hope,
this is abuse.

if your confidence has been stolen from you,
if you must tiptoe
through the turbulence between power and ego,
this is abuse.

if words are only safe unspoken
thoughts monitored for subversion,
feelings stuffed between the sofa cushions,
you are being abused.

if you are paralyzed with fear
of staying, of leaving
of dying, of not dying
and have nowhere left to go,
you are being abused.


(c) 2020 BGeiger

merciless

eyes downcast
smile frozen in place
she thinks that she is hiding her pain.
dancing on a wire
to a tune played by her leading man.
it is a frantic dance,
a carefully choreographed ballet.

any flat look of disappointment sends ice into her heart.
there is no end to the music
no breath between sets
she must anticipate each twirl and spin
for failure is unthinkable
and punishment is swift.

when finally she sleeps,
her dreams are wastelands.
sadly, she still hopes to please
to find what is lacking, repair the breach, and return to the fairy tale.
she does not yet understand
that fairy tales are horror stories
in the end.


(c) 2020 BGeiger

the day after

IMG_9492


becoming older is simple
it sneaks up on you,
until it doesn’t

this beauty will also grow old,
crumple in upon herself
and lose her amazing petals,
which feel wooden to my careful touch

it is my joy to have witnessed her life
even as my aging body requires me to walk slowly enough to notice
thank goodness

do not allow your old age to be stolen from you
run
get out
your stuff isn’t worth it

don’t wait to leave until the day after he kills you


(c) 2020 BGeiger

 

becoming rain

each of us are only particles,
currently assembled into sentient beings
held together by friction and stubbornness,
aware,
for the moment, of our being-ness.

surviving survival
pulled all of my strings and tore at my heart
’till my particles burned with confusion and dread.

surviving,
recreating myself,
from a bundle of tangled, broken fragments
was only the beginning.
learning to live again,
to find my own being-ness
took all of my soul’s work
and many days, and nights
and years.

when my particles disassemble this time,
I look forward
to becoming rain

The concept of becoming rain is from The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh

(c) 2020 BGeiger

shrew


i was a battered wife
briefly,
until I became a prisoner.
which is of course,
the only way to tame a Shrew

the single unlovely, outspoken, prickly weed
in his perfect garden
of quiet, well behaved possessions

the prisoner, fortunately,
will never become what she is not
and the Shrew will finally, at long last
notice a spark of light in the darkness,
pull herself up by her roots,
and her hair,
charge headlong into the
blinding white light of freedom
and never look back.
not ever.

your circumstance is not your fate
it is a warning, not a curse.
run for your life
before you put down roots

(c) 2020 BGeiger