She told it again, that story that never got easier, the broken light, the dark front porch, the hands that came from nowhere to pull her into hiding behind the azaleas ripe with blossom.
She stood in front of a robed man defending her mother right, the right they had forced upon her after that act of desecration and degradation. She had carried that seed of violence in her womb, succeeding in channeling rage and fear into love and protection.
Then, came the entreaties emanating from the voice that spoke on that darkest night. When she left the pleas unanswered, subtle threats took their place. She began to sleep with the lights on, babe at breast, double locks on the door. Terror began to govern all her moments, souring her milk, causing health to falter.
When enough had become too much, she packed their things and ran. Always with one eye open, never stopping for long in one place, the jagged pangs of hunger always with them, the red haze of hate surrounding her.
She was found, of course, she of small resources. Now she stood pleading, defending actions she had known she had to take to keep her precious child away from the evil that would take him away every other weekend and alternating holidays.
Men in robes sitting on Law,
Blinded by gender.
The great painting that inspired this haibun is by the very talented Shelle Kennedy. Here is her blog:
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