The Man in the Park (poem)

I was inspired to write this after I heard a statistic that just over a quarter of domestic abuse victims are male. I never knew that domestic abuse against males was so widespread, and after hearing and reading a lot of stories about domestic violence against women and none against men I felt that our society needs to be exposed to both types of domestic violence. An abusive relationship is an abusive relationship, regardless of the gender of those involved.

Chapter 1

The Man in the Park

He is propped up by a bench
The lonely man in the park
He paces about in the daylight
And stays there after dark.

The moon is high in the sky
But his spirits are down in the ground
He stays perfectly still in the shadows
And never makes a sound.

He’s been there for seven days now.
Hasn't spoken in a week
And his mouth is dry with silence
Like he’s forgotten how to speak.

He awakens early from the nightmares
Up at the crack of dawn
Peeling his face from the gravel
Shaking in fear of the things he saw.

His eyes are dark with shadows now
Woozy from lack of sleep
His vision blurs as his memories
Remind him that he’s weak.

So at night he gives into it all
And buys a couple drinks
Chugging them down till he can’t move
Till his eyelids are too heavy to blink.

That’s when the sky blushes
A perfect fuchsia pink
And separates its midnight lips
To reveal the yellowy ship about to sink

In the morning his head is pounding
And the memories come back to him
The ones he pushes deep down inside
The memories of Kim.

He remembers how she called him names
When he came back smelling of beer
The words she didn't say when others were around
That pierced him like spears.

This isn't the first time he’s been in the park
He comes every time she kicks him out
She always comes back at the end of the week
“Get in the back of the car then” she’ll shout

As the worst memories resurfaced
He presses his head in his hands
He knows that he can’t tell anyone
Because they won’t understand.

He knows they’d call him a coward
Perhaps they’d laugh in his face
A man being afraid of his girlfriend
Is nothing short of a disgrace.

It’s not just the nails he’s scared of
How he bleeds when she digs into his cheek
Nor when she pushes him into the ground
Pressing down on his throat till he can’t speak.

It’s the way she changes in an instant
Like she’s another person within
One moment she’s sweet as sugar
The next she’s bitter as sin.

Yet he knows he can’t leave her
Because he loves her still
He doesn't see what their love truly is-
Diseased and sick and ill.

So he stays there until the evening
So hungry he could collapse
And the sound of footsteps breaks the silence
“Get in the back of the car then,” she snaps.

And the birds coo above him
Overlooked by a group of swallows
Who watch as he does the worst thing-
He gets up and follows.

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