For Archbishop Plaza: A Response by Abigail Elizabeth Ottley Wyatt

I am not a silent poet

When my husband used to beat me
it was hardly ever because
I had been disobedient.

I was rarely so angry
or so downright foolish
as to question his judgement.

No, I would see the rain
clouds come down,
smell the gathering storm.

When his eyes narrowed
I knew well enough to keep
my smiles only for him.

If there were people
I would send them away.
Like Macbeth, company enraged him.

In the end it didn’t matter
what I said or did the insults,
the blows came raining down.


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