It Is Dark Outside And Violence Is Awake

I sit there in the lowveld fire
I watch the flames eat at the wood
The stories around me are repeated
One very comment gets me
The woman whose voice I hear
Rises in a cry so usual
So neglected it makes me wonder
Why nobody helps her
Laughter around me tells me
Who cares about a wife beater
When there are better things to do


Her voice rises in the night
The woman nobody helps
She cries out loud
The hand of heaven does not hear her
The murder of the innocent continues
Unhelped, unending, and heard only by me

I want to help her, but I am little
My hands are little and so are my years
My thoughts go out to the darkness
The night gets dark as I look at the fire
The voice tears into the dark night
Scratching as she lies on the ground
Where a leather strap called the strop
Lands on her back endlessly

The years multiplied as did the whacks
They spread far and I did hear the words
A woman who knows you naked
Can never respect you
Beat her and she will know who you are

A young boy repeats a saying familiar
Me, I can just beat a woman
He looks at me and I look at him
The sun shines on his disheveled face
His disheveled mind speaks and so does mine
Just yesterday he was languishing in her
The woman's womb that made him whole
Gave him the fists he has learned are good
When you land them on a female body
And fold them to knock her down
When your own turn comes to be a boss
Of the flesh that is female under you
And you turn against your own in anger
And betray your own weak truth on loving

Makes me think of the lashes in the dark
Coming down like lighting like in the field
Where life's surprises happen
Striking a whole team of soccer players
Who end up laying dead on the ground
Uncontrollable fallings that happen daily
All over this violent word of ours.
In this game in which we get together
To live the things called loving.

by Sarah Mkhonza

Comments (2)

Sure a pain of experience in foreign land! expressed it in such honesty the lines speak and give the imagery as perfect! Wish that these lines and message reaches wide and far to end that Domestic Violence.. Now God I can't forgive you!
Wife beaters, , the sufferings of a woman, nobody interferes......... her silent tears, her murmurings to her. her prayers to God go unheard until she dies in his brutality........... so many terrible stories we hear almost daily. nobody does anything for such women........ it is the curse of our societies and governments........... police should interfere and take such men who beat their wives and give them mental care or put them in jail.......... thank you very much dear poetess for bringing in such points to the light of the reader. tha nk you. tony