Violence Inside by Nikki Anne Schmutz

Thank you, Reuben Woolley​ for publishing my poem in your magazine. You are doing incredible things, speaking out against abuse through the arts!

I am not a silent poet

His intimidations haunt my dreams,

are pushed upon me by my subconscious.

Promised threats are carried out;

night after night, year after year.

A battery of bloody images,

loved ones dying at my hand.

I hold the knife, I carry out

his punishment for my truth telling.

I awake blinded by tears, held captive by terror.

I sob over and over, “I wouldn’t do that!”

I search inside myself for the glimmer of hope.

It must be there, hiding somewhere.

I would have rather died at his hand

than live a life held captive by his shadow.

Yet here I am, dreaming;

night after night, year after year.

Afraid goodness has been smothered,

afraid I will be a captive

to the evil placed inside me forever.

I weep until there are no more tears

and curl up in a ball

until I can brave the world again

and find my voice…

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