Why We Stay

Why We Stay

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

A powerful poem by VersAnnette Blackman

We stay because we are tired

We stay because we are forlorn;

We stay because we have been



left to figure it out on our own

as girls;

saw Daddy do it to mama

and mama do it to Daddy

and Daddy do it to brother

and brother do it to his girl

and his girl take it

and his girl screams

and his girl fight back

but she always come back

We stay because we think we have it

under control because the soul bleeds

and we cry out Jesus as Band-Aids

We stay because we are tired of trying

Fighting to change a trajectory

Etched in our veins

We stay because we hear the song of

shame-filled ignorance

claiming that we feign innocence

We stay because violence is a code,

a practice, a belief

A mutual love language

And that language is empowered by silence

And silence only exists when the throat chakra is closed

and hope floats

We stay because we are lost

We stay because we don’t see a tomorrow

We stay because sorrow outweighs joy

We stay because we are tired

We stay because we were taught

not to give up

on love on him on God on us on the black man, the family, the kids

though we are consistently quitting on ourselves

We stay because we’ve got nothing else to lose

We stay because our spirits are broken

And we are choking on self-hate

We stay because we are afraid to speak up

To incriminate to let go to fess up to truths

Too painful to acknowledge

And everyone thinks we like it

We stay because we’ve been tired since way back when

We stay because being taken and beaten has always been our reel, against our will

and leaves us

floating on the edge of defeat

somewhere zipped inside torture and reality

an undefined space

an unbelievable scrutiny

and we are never free

We stay because we forget how the moon illuminates

We stay because we can no longer hear the rivers’ song

We stay because we have been fighting for far too long

And we are tired.

Read more about Blackman’s journey to healing.

Former Solo Mom VersAnnette Blackman-Bosia, ESME’s Resource Guide for Domestic Violence, is a painter, published poet, speaker, and facilitator. Through her business, Soul Revival Healing Arts, she offers original paintings and products, and teaches workshops. Her first poetry collection, Butterfly Spirit, was published in 2015. VersAnnette is passionate about empowering women, eating great food, and traveling the world. She and her family currently reside near Chicago.

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