Tuesday, April 10, 2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 9: Shadow Plays

Prompt: Write a poem in which something big and something small come together.

Again, this did not go anywhere near expected. It sort of swerved off, midway into a meditation on the nature of shadows, into minefield territory.

I'm almost afraid to touch it, it scared me too.


the upraised fists of his fury
loom larger in shadow
against the sickly-pale wall
he is not large but drunken fumes
play tricks with the mind

anyone can be large
when there is someone smaller to tame

hands over her head she diminishes
to nothing in the menace of his rage
her shadow shrinks into itself

this is strange love that tastes of bruises blood and tears
his whiskey-sour breath harsh as the poem of violence
he hammers onto her skin into her bones

things shift
things crack

her smallness falls into him
cavernous black his huge shadow
swallows her whole

not even her shadow remains


Jane Dougherty said...

Good use of the prompt. The 'largeness' of the abuser becomes self-perpetuating, just as the cringing abused shrinks. Powerful.

Kerfe Roig said...

Jane is right. Powerful, from many angles.

Anonymous said...

This poem makes you cringe from the imagery. You painted a very real picture here. Great use of the prompt.

Shuku said...

Jane and Kerfe: Thank you so much. This wasn't what I originally set out to write, but it took a turn and went right into the ugly heart of abuse, and the violence that disguises itself as narcicissm twisted to look like love. I was privileged to spend time last year with a wonderful group of women writers who had all, at some point in their lives, been abused physically or emotionally. In a way, this is all their stories, my own included.

Realmommaramblings: It made me cringe too, in the writing, it really did. It felt wrong to put it down, but then I've been learning that sometimes, it's *necessary*. Thank you!