#WhiteRibbonDay #Orangetheworld #16days International Day To End Violence Against Women. I will feature your published/unpublished poetry/short prose/artworks about this issue. Please include a short third person bio

Never Again

You were my prince
loving and kind
you caressed my body
also my mind

You were my lover
soul mate and friend
there when I hurt
ready to mend

Suddenly one day
a new you appeared
no longer my shining knight
but one to be feared

Hands no longer caressed
instead rolled up tight
my body your aim
as I faced my plight

My skeletal framework
left stained black and blue
you promised – never again
but that wasn’t true

You’d kneel on the floor
and weep your sorrow
I believed and trusted you
then re-lived – tomorrow

My abdomen swollen
your feet made their aim
I was your target
then you wept with shame

Scalding hot water
as I was flung in the bath
you said you were sorry
but enough was enough

It couldn’t go on
I couldn’t take any more
at night whilst you slept
I crept out of the door

Decades have past
since you lashed out that pain
I vowed then that night–
Never again.

– Patricia M Osborne

Ink

Like a squid I squirt ink filigreed words on virgin paper
the rhubarb lips that stained with blood, salted by tears
as you peeled me layer by layer till nothing was left of my core
controlled, loved, abused and shaken by last the vestiges of
love that you promised that I hoped for as years left their bruises
pomegranate to singed brown, patterns that laced my body
caged like the slave girl who dared to fall in love with a prince
Anar, the Persian fruit of love, transformed to the fruit of the dead
of Hades, like Persephone, the underworld beckons me.

Glossary: Anar is the Persian name for pomegranate.

-Leela Soma

Three Lions 11 July 2021

The first time in 55 years
I keep the supply of beer coming
cold, not cool, as he likes it

Losing puts him in a bad mood
in the debris of my life
sometimes I win, mostly I lose

From the kitchen, his reddening face
the pile of cans, like a mini citadel
grows on the coffee table

The pizza isn’t right
Undercooked he says
not enough pepperoni

After extra time it’s penalties
he’s on the edge of his seat
then it’s all over

The cans kicked off the table
I hope you’re happy
you Welsh bitch

The crunch of fist on cheekbone
a penalty he doesn’t miss

Published in the September 2021 issue of Yggdrasill.

-Annest Gwilym

TRIGGER WARNING
THIS WILL BE A DIFFICULT READ FOR SOME THAT MAY FIND THESE PIECES DISTURBING.

*****
Tears Of A God

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

mumble
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 a God”

First published in “Degenerates for Peace, Domestic Abuse edition, 2017”

Bios And Link

-Patricia M Osborne

is married with grown-up children and grandchildren. In 2019 she graduated with an MA in Creative Writing (University of Brighton).

Patricia is a published novelist, poet and short fiction writer. She has been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. Poetry pamphlets, Taxus Baccata and The Montefiore Bride were published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press in 2020 and co-authored poetry pamphlet Sherry & Sparkly to be published December 2021 by The Hedgehog Poetry Press.

She has a successful blog at Whitewingsbooks.com featuring other writers. When Patricia isn’t working on her own writing, she enjoys sharing her knowledge, acting as a mentor to fellow writers.

Signed copies available on website:

https://whitewingsbooks.com/shop/

-Annest Gwilym

Author of two books of poetry: Surfacing (2018) and What the Owl Taught Me (2020), both published by Lapwing Poetry. What the Owl Taught Me was Poetry Kit’s Book of the Month in June 2020 and one of North of Oxford’s summer reading recommendations in 2020. Annest has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies, both online and in print, and placed in several writing competitions, winning one. She was the editor of the webzine Nine Muses Poetry from 2018-2020. She is a nominee for Best of the Net 2021. Twitter: @AnnestGwilym

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