The Flashing Light
Saturday night and an empty dance floor
a flashing, aging disco light and desperately loud music
that pulsated a false promise of a fabulous time ahead.
In he walked with three loud and noisy friends
Handsome Hunk. That was her very first thought.
It was love at first sight!
At least it was for Grace, who would say many times in the coming weeks
He is my knight in shining armour, my love and light, my new best friend
The seeds of the kind of crazy making chaos
that had begun by date number five
were planted at a time when other suitor-seeking-women were travelling joyously
in four wheel drive chariots and on shiny motorbikes
that roared with the sound of it’s so good to be alive!
The first time he shoved her into the wall
she was holding their brand new baby girl
By the time their fourth child arrived her friends were chanting a mantra
that made Grace’s ears burn and her heart race:
Why don’t you leave him?
Surely you don’t still believe him?
What are those bruises on your face?
Cupid’s arrow had shattered into dangerous shards
that she now slept on in a bed of nails
but she didn’t tell her friends that of course
She was already grief stricken that baby number four
was not a union of love and light
but a creation of forced submission after an evening of fear and fright
Grace had to ignore her friends to keep herself from going mad.
How did she go from the disco floor to being kidnapped into confusion
amidst the a landscape of a romantic illusion
that transported the once light spirited, optimistic, amazing Grace
into the place of fright and loathing?
No longer did she laugh when he said, you are my pussycat!
Truth be known she had learnt to protect her children
by placing herself in the jaws of the fierce lion
all the while feeling like a vulnerable, scaredy cat.
One day in the supermarket, surrounded by her tribe of children,
lead by the dangerous man with the vituperative tongue,
a woman with a tray of pomegranate samplers approached Grace
The woman smiled brightly, her gaze fixed upon Grace tightly
Try this one it’s delicious, she said
and then whispered urgently
Leave him or he will kill you –you deserve better than this!
Grace stood dumbfounded that this pomegranate wielding stranger
this once terrorised sister, had sensed her present danger
Something changed for Grace that day
though it didn’t happen straight away
Within six turns of the full moon her children and beloved pets
had escaped and were now living in a shelter house
a place where the walls were light and fresh, with fences high
They were safe!
It took a Village to rescue Grace from the illusion
that was cast that night under the flashing dance floor light
In the words of the police officer
who attended that very last incident that Grace had to endure
You were lucky to get away
But we know that Grace was brave, it was not a matter of luck at all!