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Erica Perez

September 8, 2016

Sean Michael, August 2016

She used to tell me she loved me.

Erica Perez

Erica Perez

She said she was my girlfriend.
I asked her to leave her husband,
the father of her children,
but she said, “I can’t, who else will give
me money to take care of my kids?”

“Hey, I love you and your kids but I can’t be their daddy.
I can’t even be your boyfriend.
I can’t take it anymore when you tell me he hits you.
I don’t know what to do, but you can leave him.”

She tells me I’m the only one she wants
and begs me to stay.
She’s crying as I stand and make for the door.
I’m scared for her and her kids.

A week later, she writes me a long letter.
She describes how her husband threw her on the bed and
choked her until she saw stars.

I remember being a kid and walking
into the bedroom to see my uncle with his
hands around my aunt’s throat.
“Leave him,” I say. “He’s going to kill you.”

“I can’t. He’s the only one who gives me
money for my kids and, if I leave him,
he’ll get custody of my boys.
I can’t live without them.”

I used to love listening to her talk about her kids.
Racing to get them ready in the morning and
dropping them off at different schools.
The sports they played and
the funny things they’d say.

“Leave him. Somehow.”
“I can’t. He’ll take my boys.”

That same year, my friend lost her life and
she’s never coming back.
Her husband killed her and put her petite, lifeless body
in the car trunk and left her there,
locked away and hidden from her five sons,
who will grow up without the mother
who loved them more than life itself
of this I am sure.

Domestic violence is too common and too often the abused do not seek safety or respite from their abusers for whatever reason. It is especially sad when children are involved because they are more helpless than anyone else. Domestic Violence can be a difficult subject to approach and difficult to escape. I hope that if you read this poem and you or someone you know is being abused, you don’t turn a blind eye and think that somehow “Things will be okay.” Here are a few links to websites that can assist someone in need:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline:
Feminist Majority Foundation:
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:


Posted for  dVerse Poets, Open Link Night #179, September 8, 2016

From → BLOG, Poetry

  1. Powerful piece.


  2. I’m sorry for your loss, Sean. Thank you for bringing to light an issue that plagues us.


    • It was so weird, because, once during a visit, I looked into her eyes and said, “He’s going to kill you. Leave him.” And then, it happened.


  3. Heartbreaking. 😢


  4. oh no…such a sad story. So sorry you lost your friend in such a brutal way.


  5. I’m so sorry. As a dv survivor, I thank you profoundly for writing this. It was heartbreaking, but needs to be said. There can never be enough awareness. (((hugs)))


  6. This makes me more than sad, it makes me angry for men who can do things like this.. Money is shackles for women.


  7. Sorry to hear about your friend, Sean. A long time ago, someone tried to do something similar to me. I got out of that situation and never looked back. I just wish your friend could have done the same.


  8. Oh how sad that this poor lady felt she couldn’t leave her abuser. Thank you for sharing her story, people like her need to be heard and have the support they need before these awful things happen 😦


  9. So sad this happened to your friend Sean. Violence against women is a cause close to my heart.


    • I grew up around a lot of domestic violence and it was pretty scary. I wrote a lot about in my poetry book, Stygian. One time my parents took us to their “friend’s house, so they could do drugs. They had a daughter and while we were playing with her, we heard yelling. The couple began to argue, and it ended with the woman stabbing her husband in the chest. We hid under the bed, and before we left, the little girl told me she was scared. I pointed and told her, “don’t be afraid. There’s an angel right there.” I n the eye of a storm, peace can be found…


  10. Such a tragic ending. I’m sorry for your loss.


  11. Thank you.


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