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Today I didn’t send the children to their room
as knots formed in my belly
at the sound of your key in the door
I didn’t scan for warning signs in your eyes
on your breath, how you moved,
cover bruises with make-up and lies
I didn’t grill your pork chop just-so
smooth every lump from your mash
for you to throw the plate across the room
I didn’t bounce off the wall from the fist
I didn’t see coming, feel your hands
around my throat, lose my breath
I didn’t pretend to be asleep as you came up to bed
hoping you wouldn’t drag me out by my hair
get in with me to do worse
I didn’t bleed from my busted nose
losing our baby which you kicked out of me
yelling that it wasn’t yours.
Last night I put a knife under my pillow.
Tomorrow I will hold my head up.
Jill Abram is Director of Malika's Poetry Kitchen, a collective encouraging craft, community and development. She grew up in Manchester and now lives in London. Jill created and curates Stablemates – a series of poetry salons, each of which features three poets from one publisher.
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