Matthew Leichty

She Left No Bruises - Poem by Matthew Leichty

She never hit, she never struck,
So there was never any concern,
For she left no bruises,
No mark, no damage,
And she loved me the next day.

When her fury raged,
And she spat out insults,
They were only words;
They left no bruises,
And surely you can not consider them violence.

When I wept,
And asked her the reason for her cruelty,
She explained,
Were I only to defend myself
Then it could all be stopped,
And I was only being tested.

I nodded, and said I understood,
And would do better next time.

When she mocked me in front of friends,
And told them I was a poor mate,
And physically inadequate,
And whoever would take me
Must be delusional or desperate,
These statements were only made in jest.
They left no bruises, you see,
And taking it personally
Was only a fault of mine.
Otherwise asking her to stop would have made it stop.
Had she not told me this was true?
Surely then I was to blame.

When friends witnessed,
And asked me if it happened often,
I assured them that they misunderstood.
There was no reason for concern,
For she left no bruises,
And it was my job to defend myself.
She could not possibly know the pain of it, I said.
Surely it was not possible,
For she loved me dearly,
And if she knew, then surely she would stop.
The fault was mine for not explaining clearly.

Did I tense when she came in the room?
Did I recoil when she reached for me?
How could this be,
When she left no bruises?
When she would never cause me harm?

Surely it was only forgotten memories,
Someone else, from long ago.
Surely there were bruises
Not yet faded, under layers of skin.

Surely there was never any danger.
Surely there was never any harm.
For she left no bruises,
No mark, no damage,
And she loved me the next day.

Topic(s) of this poem: relationships

Comments about She Left No Bruises by Matthew Leichty

  • Ella Lazaare (6/30/2017 1:17:00 PM)

    Such powerful insight regarding emotional abuse and its potential for damage. Too few people understand that it's abuse just the same, even if it doesn't leave bruises. Brilliantly done. (Report)Reply

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  • Jazib KamalviJazib Kamalvi (6/29/2017 10:57:00 PM)

    True that the wounds of words are deeper than those of sword. Thanks (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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Poem Submitted: Thursday, June 29, 2017

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