I listen. The air has no pulse. There is only silence, As violence against women continues. A burglar on an opened heart Ransacks tranquil memories And a naive belief in truth and love ever after; Throws open the drawers of civility And tosses values and virtues To the ground, But the anguish is not shouted Into the night To articulate their fear. The cries are muffled As cotton in the ears, By a hand upon the mouth, Or threats of retribution.
The airwaves, And movie screens are saturated With images and lyrics That disrespect the queen. The artists retort that freedom of speech Allows them to express themselves In a free country paid for by collective Sacrifices of indentured servants And those freed by birth or bill of sale. Many died for liberty and justice, But is this the freedom they had in mind? The expression leads to oppression And regression of respect.
The streets are watching, As witnesses to evaporated Safety nets that hang defenseless Like a fog over the residences That were once a haven of rest For millions of women and children; Residences that stood as a fortress And universities of life Where vulgarity was a rarity And rough words and misguided hands Were infrequent visitors And forbidden intruders.
The emotional predators Play the editors On self esteem. Smooth talking, conniving individuals With invisible intentions, Stalking and thriving On the innocence of their victims. They sculpt new features And carve courage and hope Out of the work and they autograph The sculpture to let you know They were there, Defaming the masterpieces Of creation with signatures of deception.
The weak who sometimes succumb To abuse over loneliness, Intermittent affection Over rejection, Something predictable, Though destructive, They often confine themselves To hope, which has by definition Only a possibility of happiness For the believers who ascribe To a doctrine of deliverance.
The weak, need voices to sing with them And for them. They request instruments to play their plight Into a sad song that the night Will amplify until the bass and treble is heard In every measure. The weak need the perpetrators silenced By the community led chorus of support And the orchestra of understanding. The weak need composers to translate their pain Into songs and many to march against the music of misery And stir the heart with it's demand for justice. The weak need someone to open the curtains On the cruel acts of betrayal, So that exposure to the audience will bring change. They know the disclosure will incite the critics Among us to cry for protection and retribution, So that discovery leads to corrective actions And improvements, solutions, Fines and the appropriate sentencing To those who violate our women.
I listen. The air has no pulse. There is only silence As the emotional violence Against women continues. But soon the heart Will beat boldly in the distance In and through different venues Until the outrage Like a megaton explosion Forces us to act In the name of peace And the God who made us As an instrument of His love.
Copyright 2006 Orlando CeaserEnding Gender-Based Violence 2012