The Shell Game [TW]

Note to Readers: This piece contains descriptors of violent physical abuse, mental and emotional abuse, and allusion to sexual abuse/assault. Read at your own discretion.

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They live in our houses,
our communities.
They work with us
and are integral to our
daily lives;
we bequeath them with titles:
Grandmother – Mother – Daughter
Sister – Aunt – Niece – Cousin
Wife – Girlfriend – Best Friend

However there are others
who see them as less
and reduce them to nothing
but objects for the amusements of
small men;
things to be rated and taken apart,
drained and damaged,
thrown against walls and onto floors,
then discarded when the novelty fades
and threatened into conformity with
authority and deceit.

First and foremost
these women are people,
and many are






Too often they fall between the cracks.
They get lost in the shell game
abusers love to play
(Shuffle the cups, where’s the ball? You lose, sucker!)
and we can’t keep letting them down,
letting them suffer alone,
weeping and bloody in the
indignity of darkness.
No more silence.
No more secrets.
No more denial.
No more intimidation.
No more.

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