A poem by Evelyn Carmack
I scanned the local paper over breakfast
and as this headline caught my eye
the granola in my throat became a pill I couldn't swallow
and my heart sank like an anchor to the bottom of my stomach
“Her 12 year old daughter found her in the closet”
daddy was the number one suspect
my limbs become icicles
frozen by frigid truth
but my mind is ablaze with rage
the sheriffs had been there before
but I guess “several” isn’t enough when it comes to calls for help
why couldn't I hear her screams through the wall?
what was I doing?
while just on the other side he shot her 3 times
3 days I went to work, bought groceries, watched tv, did homework, ate food and slept
while her body lay
If it was up to me I’d make every house a safe house
seal the lips of every bully with superglue
and healing honey would soothe those
swollen with silent bruises
I’d replace tears with rosewater
and wrap broken bones in a promise
that you’ll never have to go home
but hate survives
and thrives in a world that binds the beaten
and shields the beast
because their hands are tied
I’m using both of mine, pulling back the rug under which so many stories have been swept
I’m pulling off the duct tape
and I’ll be kicking, screaming, writing and singing
the truth of those souls slain every day by the hands of their loved ones
This blog has taken this issue of domestic violence and the special oppression of women very seriously and thank Ms Carmack for sharing her concerns about it with FFWP. Men in particular have to try our best to understand and learn from the women around us. The author was inspired to write this poem after reading about the murder of Yun Yi Zhang by her husband Feng Mi in Castro Valley CA. She also wrote a letter to the local paper about it. We publish it below.
To the Castro Valley Forum:
Although I was appalled by the events described, I want to thank you for publishing the article about the suspected domestic violence murder on Stanton Avenue in early March.
I want to encourage you, the editor, and everyone who reads The Forum to use this incident as an opportunity to raise awareness about domestic violence. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice state that in 2013 over 6 million children witnessed domestic violence and each day an average of 3 women and 1 man was murdered by their partner.
There is no reason that our neighbors, friends or family should be silently suffering. The fact that something like this could happen is evidence that we still have some major shortcomings as a community. We must not let domestic violence happen to each other. Even though it is a difficult subject to talk about, we should no longer ignore the suffering of those in our community.
Those who are not fluent in English, such as Yun Yi Zhang, or those who are living here as undocumented immigrants are especially vulnerable to domestic violence because they fear losing their home, children or job if they report any crime to the authorities. You may know someone living in this situation who is afraid to speak up.
If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence, talk about it. There are many resources out there for free, confidential, emotional and legal support.