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Linda M Hill

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The Mask ( Spousal Abuse)
by Linda M Hill

Thursday, September 04, 2003

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She walks alone
Her head held down
She never notices
If anyone's around
I see her every day
As she walks by
One morning I thought
I'd just say Hi

I walked up to her
But she backed away
She didn't have
Too much to say
She seemed so afraid
To shake my hand
When she looked at me
I began to understand

Her eye was black
As she glanced at me
She turned away
So I would not see
I walked beside her
Not saying a word
Knowing that silence
Can sometimes be heard

After the third day
She slightly smiled
When I came out
And walked awhile
She started to talk
About her life
The struggles of being
A mother and wife

I noticed more bruises
She tried to hide
She masked all the pain
She carried inside
I wanted to ask her
But I didn't dare
What a terrible cross
She had to bear

Every day we walked
Though her body was sore
She would get quiet
When we neared her door
She looked so afraid
As she'd quickly say bye
Was that a glimmer of
A tear in her eye

She started to wait
Each morning for me
By the oceans edge
She'd stand patiently
Sometimes she would cry
But never would tell
Of the demon at home
Who put her through hell

She would talk of the
Seagulls in the air
Or the different way
I wore my hair
She had a grace about her
A certain charm
But she never discussed
The bruises on her arm

One day I waited
But she never came
The oceans wave
Was not the same
The seagulls weren't flying
Not going anywhere
Could it be
Because she's not there

It was in the paper
The very next day
Woman beaten to death
Her husband to pay
With tearfilled eyes
I walked alone
Every chance I had
To save her was gone

I never asked her
Why her bruises were there
I should have told her
How much I cared
I never told her
She was my best friend
Or to save her life
I'd gladly taken her in

Words left unspoken
Pain buried so deep
I prayed to God
Her soul to keep
Her name written in
Cold hard stone
As the waves roll in
I walk alone

She had a grace about her
A certain charm
But we never discussed
The bruises on her arm

Linda Hill 2003

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Reviewed by Jimmy Mills (Reader) 9/16/2003
A masterpiece at best! Well written form of poetic artistry here. A very sad poem with a moral at the end. When you have a chance to save a life, take it because that maybe the only chance you have. This story deserves to be told to the whole world population. Thanks for sharing. Jim
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 9/8/2003
A tragic story, unfortunately too common still. Well-expressed in verse and emotion.
Reviewed by Jill Eisnaugle 9/6/2003
A very emotional write on a topic I have so sadly lived, Linda. Though a few years removed from the abuse, the pain of it, the scars and the memories still creep back to the surface from time to time. I, too, thought I was alone, but I found my strength in my writing and with pen in tow, I got through it, damaged but stronger. Good luck with your fight to stop the violence. I wish you all the best. It must stop!
Hugs and Love,
Reviewed by Jackie Brooks 9/6/2003
I had a friend who went through this, a terrible tragedy took place but the abuse did not stop, at the time I didn't know her as a friend, she was in our church and I knew of the tragedy. Then we received a letter from her asking if she could come and stay with us, I phoned her and she came straight away. She 'hid out' with us for about eight weeks until she was ready and able to move into a place of her own. When she arrived she was a skeletal, traumatised nervous wreck and could not string two words together. Her husband was an absolute maniacal pig, he sent abusive letters to the vicar, who hadn't a clue where she was or why he was receiving such mail. Finally she has escaped him and is now living abroad, several years on, and happily, now remarried. I have no doubts that if she had stayed with him any longer than she did, she would not be living now. Jackie <> <
Reviewed by George MacLean Akurunwa 9/6/2003
Deeply moving
Reviewed by Carolyn Red Bear (The Bear Paw) 9/6/2003
Linda, when I was in that situation, I just knew that I was all alone and the only one going through it! I learned I wasn't alone and sad to say that many others were going through it and believed it to be normal! I couldn't take it any more, told them, NO, it may be COMMON, but it's not NORMAL! Love doesn't do that kind of stuff. Thank you, Linday for sharing this. Maybe you might want to read an old write of mine posted as "Ex".
In Spirit,
Reviewed by Joel Raja Kumar J 9/6/2003
Honey, you have a heart of Gold. Wish more people thought of this and cared. Abuse from either side is despicable.

Love from India - Joel -
Reviewed by Nicole Davis Vergara (Reader) 9/6/2003
Ohhhhhh Linda this piece reads so very much like it has come from a personal experience, and if it has I can tell you 100% sure this woman really did/does know how much you care! I can see you where ever you may go rain, snow and ice with the sun still and only shining above your head, a halo graced by this angel!!!!

Now even if it does not come from a personal experience all the same still holds true, Thank you so very much from someone who has been there and survived for this beautiful, touching, moving and exquisite piece that will hopefully teach and awaken others...


Reviewed by Amor Sabor 9/6/2003
There is never a time when you do not fully reach out and touch with these great works.
Reviewed by Bhuwan Thapaliya 9/5/2003
My dear friend Linda.....another gem of a write from you...excellent!!!
Reviewed by Tami Ryan 9/5/2003
My hairs stood on end - I felt every word. You are such a bright star, Linda... Shine on, my friend, shine on! Thanks for this Outstanding write!

Reviewed by OnepoetGem *the Poetic Rapper 9/5/2003
Sad but lovely Linda. Poetically lovely my dear heart. sometimes even when we try to help our friends they refuse and tell us to mind our business. I have walked this road many atimes only to get my feelings hurt. Now I just mind my business. maybe you could have helped and maybe not, who knows. hugs G
Reviewed by - - - - - TRASK 9/5/2003

What Nobody Wants To Believe Is We're, Your Already In Hell,i.e. Not Only Spousal Abuse,Child Abuse,Elderly ABUSE,eTC.

Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 9/5/2003
Just stunning Linda!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by ya mama (Reader) 9/5/2003
very powerful
Reviewed by Leysa Lowery 9/5/2003
My daughter was married to an abusive man. At first it was all emotional abuse (which may be worse in many ways) and she hid that until her child was born. She then began to talk back to him, so he got physical one night. Thank God, that was it all it took and she left. He still tried emotional crap on her over their son, but she is strong now and it slides right off her back. And his mother stood beside him through it all, said my daughter was weak for not staying in the marriage. It's a sickness. An evil one. Great write about it. Perhaps we all need to be more involved. Thanks for this poem.
Reviewed by Retta (Reindeer) Mckenzie 9/5/2003
This was so sad and painful to read, but your message here is so powerful and needs to be heard,

Reviewed by John Bidwell 9/5/2003
You never cease to amaze me Linda.
What a difficult life trip found in your poetry.
So few have any idea the part they play in their own suffering...and few know the part they play to make special places of light, even briefly, in a dark world.
Linda, you are such a bright light.
Reviewed by Jenni Kalicharan 9/5/2003
Oh Linda...I can still feel the chills going through my body. This was a superb account of such a sad situation.
Reviewed by Gaye Dale (Reader) 9/5/2003
Linda, simply brilliant...
Thank you
Reviewed by Kate Clifford 9/5/2003
This write captures the moment perfectly.
Reviewed by Lady Peg (Reader) 9/5/2003

This is always a subject and
you capture it to well many
times i fear walking here
in your verses for they
are lined in rememberances.
Lady Peg
Reviewed by jude forese 9/4/2003
superb write on the hidden realms of abuse and hostility... <seagulls>
Reviewed by Ron (sketchman) Axelson 9/4/2003
This write is so stunning Linda.
All the abuse these days?
Will it ever end......
Have a great tomorrow Linda...
Reviewed by Julie Donner Andersen 9/4/2003
Oh, Linda - as always, your poetry cuts like a knife straight through to my heart. I FELT this poem and all the emotions in it. Superb write!

Julie :)
Reviewed by Vicky Jeter 9/4/2003
This woman would have known you cared, at least as much as she could let in, anyway.
That's why she came to wait for you. The first step for anyone who is in these straights is to realize their choices have to come first -- regardless of the abusers retribution for it. For me, that what the hitch, 'til I figured it out. No matter what I did, he always did or threatened something worse -- I only succeeded in breaking away when it no longer mattered to me that he might kill me or chase me out of my life into the underground if I did.
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