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Christina OW

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Member Since: Oct, 2012

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The Last Beat Of The Four Chamber Drum
by Christina OW

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
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 Du dum du dum du dum

The sound echoed in my ears like a Congo drum,

Sitting in between a drummer’s thighs, dressed in a loin clothes and war paints marking his body as he played it in a quick moving beat.

But my body didn’t dance to its tune.

I stood there waiting.

Waiting for… what was I waiting for?

 

Du dum du dum du dum

The erratic beat was slowing down, making my fight for breath easier.

My muscles relaxed and my arms slowly lower to hang loosely at my sides,

As I stared down at the torment of my life, as it lay there lifeless.

My head cantered to the side as a thought struck me…

It didn’t look threatening anymore.

My heart didn’t race in fear nor did beads of sweat run down my temple

Nor did the urge to search for a hiding place like a frightened mouse hoping to escape a lecherous cat,

As I silently cried for help from a rescuer who could never hear me,

While I audibly begged for a chance to make it right

It’s triumphant laughter mixing with my cries of pain and wails fro mercy.

There was no sound except for the slowing beats of the Congo drums.

 

Du dum du dum du dum

I stood there watching it,

Waiting for my tormentor to make the final move of attack,

To rise up like the phoenix

And make me wish I had turned the key that unlocked my chain on myself.

Don’t get me wrong.

I had thought about it for days which turned into weeks,

And weeks that turned into months,

And months that turned into years.

But I had been a coward, even in that.

But I wasn’t a coward anymore.

This is what I was waiting for, this feeling.

I was the phoenix that rose from the ashes to reclaim my life,

Taking down my tormentor with nothing but a twitch of my finger,

Looking down at the waste of life as it lay at my feet, defeated.

Yes, I had defeated the thing worse than the devil for there was no possible way it could be anything less.

I defeated it with its own key that was a weapon against me.

It jeered at me, laughing at my fear as I trembled,

The key in its talons pressed against my temples.

I scoffed, spitting at the waste that lay at my feet.

It wasn’t laughing anymore.

 

Du dum du dum du dum

The beat slowed to a canter and I took in a deep breath.

My actions have consequences. I know that.

I may be stupid enough to willingly live in hell but had a morsel of intelligence to know there needed to be payment for using the key.

But I was free,

A smile crept over my lips and grew to a full blown grin.

I was free!

I shouted it out as I laughed and cried,

Yes, I would pay for using the key, but I was free.

Free to laugh, free to smile, free to have friends and hug random people, including men in celebration of my freedom.

I had no worry that I would feel the breath of the devil on my shoulder, nor would he be laying in wait in shadows ready to torment me for its own amusement.

Nor cringe in anticipation of a blow, one that could possibly end the beat of my drum, marking the end of my worthless existence.

I stood as David over the body of Goliath, triumphant and unapologetic.

Yes, I would pay but I will never be sorry!

‘But you killed a man’

I opened my eyes and faced the detective sitting across from me.

For a moment I had forgotten I sat in the dim small grey walled room, with nothing but a table between us as we sat in conversation.

For a moment I had forgotten the broken nose, the cut lip, the swollen cheeks and a closed eye while the other was at half mast.

I had forgotten the pain in my ribs, or the fact that my broken arm was tied to my chest and that a few teeth were missing in my mouth.

I had forgotten my battle scars.

I didn’t care that my tormentor had robbed me of my looks and at that moment sat in a room with a man, while others looked into it through the one way mirror and were probably cringing at my appearance.

I held my head high, and sat up straight,

Despite the pain that riddled my body.

I was not consumed with embarrassment but with peace.

They are my marks of triumph and I wear them with pride.

 

Du dum du dum du dum

The peaceful beat of my four chamber drum,

Not erratic nor skipping for I had nothing left to fear.

I looked the man in the eye- with the only functioning one I had- and said with a strong audible voice filled with the confidence I had lost the last five years of my life,

‘Do you not understand? I have been in a fight told only in the stories of gladiators meeting in arenas, fighting for their lone possession- their lives- with everything they have in them.

Do you not understand? For the past five years of my life I have been a slave, submissively hiding in a corner baring Goliath’s wrath.

Do you not understand? This day was the final battle and I against all odds emerged the victor, finally a gladiator worth songs to be written and sung for generations to come.

Do you not understand? The competition is only called to an end when one lay at the feet of the other with his four chamber drum ceased its playing?

Yes, a man is dead but he understood the game entering it, I was the thrown into battle with neither a sword or a shield, nor the skills to fight my opponent who was easily three times my size.

And now after five years of losing, I am the victor and I claim my victory with no apology!’

I watched the eyes of the man sitting across from me,

I saw pity and it angered me.

There is no reason to show pity, I won!

I had to make him understand that.

 

‘Do you not hear that?’

I demanded pressing my hand on my chest.

Du dum du dum du dum

‘Do you not hear the beats of my Congo drum?

Do you not hear what they say?

They say that I am alive.

How many women can attest to the same?’

 

Christina OW

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Reviewed by Jerry Bolton 5/14/2013
Well, you captivated me with your tale of final vengeance. This is a remarkable story Christina, and the tale it spun is reality dead center. Yes, I loved the poem, and I loved that the teller of it came out victorious, but I hang my head when I think about the last two line of the piece . . . "They say that I am alive. / How many women can attest to the same?’"
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