Abusing the Privilege (An Anthem Lest I Forget)

A poem about abusing the Privilege
Posted November 22, 2020 by
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In domestic situations, spilling the beans is by no means easy, always a messy business.
And letting the cat out the bag means someone gets the nine tails and the boot. I’ll take it.
Pulling the plug means the baby goes out with the bath water.
So I’m keeping it under wraps behind closed doors.

Spilling the beans is by no means easy.
“Do I look alright?” Brigadier Debonair-Wordsmith asks the mirror. That is a rhetorical question.
Kettle always full and all is squared away.
Spit and polished and spurs jingling, medals swinging, I adore him.
The Ward Room waits and The Mess will follow.
“Sir! Ma’am! (All to attention) Punch Sir?”
(No that’s for me, my Just Desserts.)
“Whore!” “Bitch!” “Disgusting human being!”
But spilling the beans is by no means easy.

Letting the cat out the bag means the boot after all those years of service.
The few friends are invited round but the grief, oh the grief… Is it worth it?
“Can’t you do anything right?”
“Just do as I tell you”
(I do, I really do but tip-toeing on eggshells does take its toll you know, this my Testament of Duty.)
Already tanked up and ready to impress and charm the guests with insight and then when alone bear the brunt of his excess; always the upper hand.
And I will keep the cat in again tonight.

I cannot pull the plug; he said “they’d never believe me…
“You see, if I wanted to kill you, I really would kill you”
Green-faced, bruised and wrists Chinese-burnt
I sit in a hot bath (the hotter the better), burning to know… to melt the numbness, the nothingness that I am, to revive sensation.
Talking to myself, talking to myself
Girlfriends long-gone given up the ghost
When at most I text ‘love to catch-up soon x’
I am in hot water. No Plan A, no Plan B or C or D.
For he is my Baby, my foot-stamping all-controlling Baby
And they would believe me if I pulled the plug and the Baby went out with the bath water.

Behind closed doors and all under wraps
Sit Silence, Assault and Battery while the vile smell of Threat and Control hangs in the air.
“Your word against mine” People listen to me; they love me.”
(Do I care? That is a rhetorical question.)
A shadow of a former self, I sit in view of the garden, looking out for a focal point that never appears.
Staring, waiting, not actually caring about anything now; just waiting for the stumbling drunken entry and unwelcome encore of more fork-tongued abuse to be kept behind closed doors of this, my prison.

Happy Hour Cocktails of Back-Flips, Bites and Punches diluted with the usual seducing Hug Tonic
“Come on…Come on” as he pats my back, “Let’s have a cuddle”
Abusing the punch bag, Abusing the privilege of a wife who at times can just about see the faint outline of her Man’s former self.

Abusing the Privilege, Abusing the concerns of those Brothers in Arms who remain faithful.
Eyes blind-folded, mouths gagged
And hands, trying hard to keep the sound down and the lid on the well known tin of Domestic Silence and Abuse.

I’d had the authority to call the Authorities but had declined the privilege
For fear of the inevitable Messy Business
Of the spilt beans and ensuing insane anger and denial
And the fear of ultimate loss of my lover, my husband.

It was the nth Threat cubed to Life which triggered the chain of events which severed the cycle
And put pay to Hope upon Hope squared that the angry eye of the storm would one day cease and that the New Dawn would welcome Peace, a stranger into our home.

Bruised but not alone in the kitchen and they do follow me, they wrap themselves around me to the point of strangulation Guilt, Loss and Isolation.
“Oh Lord, have I done wrong?..”

Sandy Noble

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About the author

Writer in Residence

Sarah Cheverton is Aurora New Dawn's Writer in Residence and a freelance writer and researcher. As well as writing the copy for the Aurora website, Sarah works with the Aurora team on consultation responses, communications and service evaluations. She also works as a Co-Editor for feminist news site Women's Views on News.

See all of Writer in Residence's articles — 59 total

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