She Sat on the Corner – Jessie Giles

She sat on the corner,
Concrete slab held her heavy,
Awaiting his departure.
Her feet planted on solid red sands.
Not sure if she could continue to withstand.
The yard was strewn with the remnants of last nights chaos.
Dependant on his behaviour,
She sat,
Fat faced, following the fight of once were lovers hate.
She swallowed the bait.
He trampled her with distaste.
Eyes swollen, bile rising, as her love of life was stolen.
And from behind glassy eyes, tears begin to fall and she cries.
Cries out in pain, cries out in shame.
Of course, she thinks she’s to blame.
Come and collect, come and neglect, I’ll keep you in check.
You won’t regret.
Ha! Just don’t you forget.
This tone in my voice you detect, reflects that anger I’ve kept.
She cowers, smaller than a little seed beneath the tallest tree.
She can’t reach the top to be free. As she climbs, he pulls and she falls.
Her head hanging down and a blood stained towel hides her eyes from the questioning.
I ask her what is more threatening?
The deception of his intoxicating stare,
or drunken nights when he knows he isn’t being fair.
Overindulged, the night was foretold,
a given.
Songlines of country calling, that right skin, wrong, forgiven.
Family, justify.
Sisters, tell lies,
Brothers all died,
Mother lost to suicide,
And her fathers, sit by the river side, flagons of fruity wine, drunk and scared to tow the line.
Lost.
Lost beneath time zones,
They should all be kings, sitting on mighty sand dune thrones.
I was 16,
My mother walked her into my lounge room,
I didn’t recognise her.
Mother of 3.
She couldn’t see,
her thick swollen flesh,
covering all,
no depth.
I’ll never forget.
I sat with her,
I called her my daughter,
Nakamarra.
The baseball bat stood against the door frame.
Taught to swing it fast and hard,
If he tried to come near,
mark his face with a blow to fear.
We didn’t need to,
Our tears formed puddles, formed soakage, formed lake.
Drowned him out,
Upon our journey,
we set sail, for cathartic sake.
Knowing as women we have endured enough,
knowing as women we are mighty tough,
And she sat on the corner,
Concrete slab held her heavy,
Looking up at the night skies,
With her once were warrior eyes,
A desert queen.
Reflecting all her dreams,
Knowing we can stitch up our wounds,
and every frayed seam.