#IDEVAW International Day for Eliminating Violence Against Women poetry and artwork challenge. Unpublished/published accepted. Please DM me or send a message via my WordPress site. All submissions will be published tomorrow. The actual day of the event.


My son’s eyes are ice.

I have seen this look before.

He lugs my dog Sheba by her mane,

hauls her along the floor

a piece of meat, slopping over gunnels

in an abattoir, blood down the drains.

Her paws scratch and scrape

he dumps her at my feet.

“Bite its ear!”

I shake my head.

“If it’s done wrong, and it has

bite its ear.” I shake my head


“Done nothing wrong.”

“Eh! Speak up woman!”

“It ‘aint done nothing wrong. Jack!”

Fine rain falls through grey skies

in the pub yard, and a yellow

fluid flows out from under the dog.

“Dirty bitch!”

He kicks Sheba in her side.

She whimpers, puts her head

pleadingly on the black shiny

surface of my court shoes.

“I’ll do it then!”

Snatches her up

by the scruff

“Getting a dog

and not bringing it up right.

Stupid cow!”

He snaps at the silk of her ear.

She yelps. I cry.

“Stupid sodding cow!”

He slaps me hard

across my face. I feel

his gold rings on my cheek.

“Stop whimpering!”

Pushes me up against

the wet wall. His cold eyes

up close make me shiver.

One hand on my throat,

the other points at her. I mumble.

“Not again Jack. Please.”

My legs have gone.

“Treat the bitch right

and it’ll treat you right.”

Sheba inches against the wall, 

low and hung back like the grey clouds.

Jack lets me fall. The pub door slams

Sheba, up on her legs again,

licks my face, lays down by my side

puts her head on my black court shoes.

Her neck is warm. My back hurts.

They call the rain the “Tears of God”

-Paul Brookes (Previously published, 2004)

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