The Abuser was someone I loved

Dedication: I dedicate this writing to all animals, women, children who have been violated, brutalized or murdered by men.

 

The Abuser was someone I loved.

 

I will never forget

the look in her eyes

when he kicked her

the ugly brown shoe

smashing the domed

brown skull –

the daze – vacant

uncomprehending

falling to the floor

her eyes glazed

still find mine

“What did I do?”

 

Is death stalking us both

Will she die?

 

I scoop her in

my arms

and flee

slamming a door

to get away

from him –

my terror – her fright

a matrix of confusion

 

Is death stalking us both

Will she die?

 

I cannot comfort her

or me

shock waves

pass through this animal body

rocking her in my arms

keening,

I beg her for forgiveness.

 

Is death stalking us both

Will she die?

 

I scream into the silence

He will never

touch her again.

My thundering heart

replays the scene in my mind

how could he?

In seconds he shattered

the bond between us.

I believed.

I’ll never trust him again.

 

Is death stalking us both

will she die?

 

I cradle six

pounds of silky fur

and fragile bones

in equally fragile arms,

 

she growls

shaking convulsively

shivering with fear

tears of white anguish

fall on soft skin.

“I’m sorry

I didn’t protect you”

The fault was mine.

 

Is death stalking us both

Will she die?

 

Carved out of stone

raging with fury

I spit out words

a fiery forked tongue

“If you touch her again

I am gone”

Her life is my life…

(And this he doesn’t yet know)

“I would rather

you murder me than harm her

DO you understand?

don’t get near her again”

In a frenzy

Truths tumble incoherently

filling a dead room

(that moments ago seemed to be filled

with peace)

But the promise I make

to us both,

this dog I love

more than my life

is one

that I will not break,

this much I know.

 

Is death stalking us both

Will she die?

 

And meanwhile

concussions take time

To resolve – or not

I can’t wait

I must get her into the

Night, let her walk beside me

feel her body

moving against mine

let the air calm my

racing, rabid heart

let the stars return me

to the woman

I was before

I witnessed this threat

to her life.

 

Is death stalking us both

Will she die?

 

When I look up

at the stars

I see the Great Bear

circumnavigating the sky

feel Nature’s arms

close around me,

the only real comfort

I have ever known.

 

When I return to the house

she jumps up next to him – the man

who could have killed her

with a single blow –

circling back to her abuser.

I know, I once did this too.

 

Is there a concussion still waiting

to strike in the wings?

 

The Sphinx is silent.

 

My god I am sickened by the specter

of bullying, violence, abuse.

 

But I will not live with it.

This I know.

 

 

Working Notes:

 

Veterans Day Weekend 2017 – the weekend we celebrate having “almighty power over” at the cost of human lives.

The Homecoming

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Two giant brown 300 lb. pigs were chasing us down the road next to my house a few days ago. PIGS??? This was the second alarming threat that had occurred in the two weeks since I had returned to Maine.

My friend Bruce mitigated the entire incident by suggesting that these monsters were just walking “fast” while snorting crazily on a public road while they stopped all traffic in their wake. My two little Chihuahuas and I felt differently but then we three are not physicists and we have been harassed by unfriendly, bullying, and most recently, dangerous dogs since my neighbors moved in eleven years ago… One attacked me in a public place last summer.

The pattern of woman/animal elder abuse (now I am 72) is well rooted in this “place.”

Naturally, I called the town office and left a message. Knowing the drill, I next called the dog officer whose robot replied that I should call the police. When I finally got a dispatcher she told me to contact the dog – catcher. Round and round we go. Yesterday I got a text from the Town Clerk asking if I had heard from anyone about the incident. “Of course not,” I replied. We have been here before.

It all began here the year (2003) the town forced me to obtain pictures of the German Shepard who was trespassing and threatening the life of my rabbit. To “prove” that I wasn’t making up the story, I followed protocol and after nine months got the necessary pictures of the offending dog to the town hall. There I was told the pictures weren’t good enough proof. I went home. The very next morning I heard blood curdling, high pitched, and oh so pitiful baby-like screams – Racing out the door in a frenzy I found my dead rabbit still in her pen with her guts ripped out. In shock (murder does put a person into a state that is like any other) I put Moonflower in a paper bag and called the town hall.

“You got what you wanted” my rabbit is dead.”

Their response was that the dog officer had to see the rabbit to make sure. The dog officer, appeared in minutes, a remarkable feat considering his gross nine month negligence, while I stood at the door screaming hysterically “do you still need more proof” as I pulled the dead rabbit out of the bag by her ears while bloody intestinal body parts slithered to the ground. He left.

The dogs – there were three in all – returned to look for the spoils and this was when I got the pictures of the man walking by my window dragging Moonflower’s killer dogs away.

I buried my rabbit on my land here and have never visited her grave. Ever.

Little did I know this was only the beginning…

I built my house on my beloved land (which I have had for 30 years) in 2004 and by 2005 had acquired what was to become the worst neighbors I could ever have imagined. Neighbors who refused then, as they do to this day, to collar and contain their big dogs (this is the law), and who allow them to bully my present dogs by running into the road and threatening all of us. The remarkable thing is that these people continue to get away with this behavior because the Town of Woodstock, the dog constable, and the police ignore the behavior, even after one of these same dogs attacked me in a public place last summer.

By the end of the month last year I had moved to Abiquiu, New Mexico for a break from my exhausting and terrifying life with a full blown anxiety disorder and suffering from PTSD. Eleven months later I returned to flag obsessed western Maine and picked up where I left off. Yesterday, while walking down my road we were threatened again by  a dog, this one a huge Saint Bernard (who is normally chained).

I spent all yesterday afternoon with robots trying to get help from ANYONE in the state department who would be willing to intervene. So far, nothing. Needless to say I have low expectations.

I borrowed a gun. As a woman who has been anti –gun prone since her brother killed himself with one in 1972 I find to my horror that I have now joined the crowd. (Three days later the gun was returned. Guns are not the answer.)

Welcome home Sara to “the way things should be” (one of Maine’s favorite cliches) IMG_2100.JPG