Poem: In The Name of Love

By: Kimberly Potter Kendrick


She closes her eyes
Denial deeply embedded
Young wife and mother
She’s strong; invincible
Those things won’t happen to her
She refuses to be her mother
In the name of love

A life-altering mistake
Enduring consequences she must
Not yet capable of forgiving herself
Standing proudly on his heritage
He’s reluctant to exonerate
No comprehension of the freedom
In the name of love

Penance unspoken
Demeaning labels
Activities interrogated
Vulgar remarks
Drunken violence
In the name of love

Broken glass; remnants of window panes
Pictures of their sacred day shred
Wails of the children
Daddy stop!
In the name of love

Bruises heal eventually
Bleeding emotions; incapable of coping
Trauma stuffed into her abyss; a lifetime of pennies crammed into a jar
Not another penny will fit; forcing with all her vigor
As the jar bursts, coins diffuse everywhere
She weeps, gathering her life swiftly before anyone catches a glimpse
In the name of love

She’s strong; invincible
Those things won’t happen to her
He brought flowers, washed the dishes, ran a hot soothing bath
She quickly forgot they already did
In the name of love

A quiet family dinner
The children play on the floor with unexpected presents
On the television, a movie plays
Tonight it’s all cuddles and kisses
Tonight they’ll make love
Both pretend the tension nonexistent
In the name of love

She feeds the baby, puts the boy on the bus
Quickly, flawlessly applies unneeded makeup
She’s a natural beauty
One last glance in the mirror
She questions the truth
She questions herself
Too perfect, too sexy
Why are you wearing that?
Perhaps he will question
In the name of love

On her left finger she situates her wedding rings
Staring at the diamond; memory of choosing the perfect one together
Move onward, she’s eager
No silver band upon his finger
Obsessed with thoughts of doubt, mistrust, anger
Equally dominant; desires for his wife, his precious family
In the name of love

Life quiets
Filled with family days
Restaurants, beach days, a trip to a local carnival
Outwardly the picture-perfect family
Truth concealed
Largely his possessions reappear in the house
In the name of love

His struggle persists
Partial belongings reserved
Is it time or security he requires?
Wise not to pressure: she speculates the symbolism of the absent ring
Their future ambiguous
Will the marriage persevere?
In the name of love

She, also, has fleeting doubts
Wondering if another drunken rage might transpire
Praying never again will the boy shriek in terror
Praying never again will bruises be inflicted on her body
Uncertain and hopeful simultaneously; relying on her perpetual optimism
The house reverts to a home
Husband and wife
In the name of love

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