They Asked Why She Stayed

You see her each day, working at her jobTaking her kids to school

Going to school

Walking her dog

Running her errands.
You see a woman, put together

No missing pieces that you can see;
But would it surprise you to learn

That she is in no way whole?
Day by day, word by word

Night by night, beat by beat

Pieces of her are stolen away.
She will never say,

She won’t ever tell.
But inside, behind the smiles and the put together facade

She is crying.
Then one day she slips

Her concealer isn’t enough

Her fake smile fools no one

And the question on everyone’s tongues is

“Why doesn’t she leave?”
Each and every time that the pieces are stolen,

She tries to run

But it’s as if her legs are broken

Her voice is gone
She hears the words he says

The same apology

She has heard it all before
And she knows
Deep down she knows that the apologies

Are hollow
But her fears,

They are not hollow.

The threats are not empty.

The tears are not for nothing.
Why doesn’t she leave?

The threats,

The fear
They freeze her,

Silence her,

Break her,

Freeze her.
She fears for herself,

Her family,

Her friends,

Her children,

Anyone she loves;
No one is safe from him in her eyes
She stays

She endures

She breaks

She cracks
But she does it to protect the people she loves
The next time you ask “Why doesn’t she leave,”

Ask yourself, would you have left?
This is why she stayed,

This is why she didn’t leave.


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