choke

i was 18 years young
fake id
looking for fun
went to downtown l.a.
music bumping
my friends more than 21
i was walking around
with my notice me look
and caught the eye
of a well known athlete
he played football
i played aloof
he was a legend
or so i was told
but at 18, i was barely grown
when he was making touchdowns
bedding three women at a time
i was in diapers
he was becoming number 29
we werent so serious
at least not at first
but as the years went by
i was with him often
drove his rover
had his house keys
in my fancy purse
picked up his daughter
sometimes from school
traveled together
first time first class
the warm chocolate chip cookies
so cool
we were very comptabile
he and i
but he wasnt a very
stand up guy
i didnt want to be
girl number two
i wanted to be the only one
for him to be true
wanted monogamy
faithfulness
trust
didnt want to share him
and so i said i was done
no fuss no muss
but he wouldnt accept it
he got oh so mad
pushed me hard
pinned me down
upon my bed
his knee on my stomach
his hands around my throat
squeezing
tighter
holding on
a ferocious choke
his hands so strong
across my neck
seeing stars
cant catch my breath
and he keeps pressing
i swear im going to die
the light getting brighter
and suddenly
respite
he releases his grip
makes a hasty retreat
my whole body shaking
my heart skipping several beats
i hesitate and pause
unsure of the next step to take
call 911
will i seal his fate?
my hand it is shaking
as i pick up the phone
but dial them i do
and soon police are in my home
they see signs of a struggle
see the bruises on my neck
take me to the station
photographs processed
statements made
but no arrest
not enough evidence
says the D.A.
and there you have it
another one gets away
despite my bruising
my bedroom a mess
not enough evidence
that’s what they said
and then i knew
that justice wasnt to be had
because i know what happened
what he did
how he got mad
it’s one of those moments
that changes your life
a before and after
so clearly defined
who i was before
and who i became
what happened then
and the way i changed
it’s been 21 years
and i still can recall
the feel of my back
sliding down that wall
remember him choking me
the rage in his face
and i was so helpless
he put me in my place
then and now
it is heartbreaking to hear
how women are victimized
by men every year
and how some get away with it
they suffer no remorse
they continue their lives
they stay the course
and how do i feel
all these years passed?
i’m a glass half full woman
i look for the good
give thanks for the bad
i feel like it’s a lesson
something i can hold close
to render me strong
know i can overcome anything
with a titanium calm.

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