Tarnished

 

I’ve been tarnished.

They say counting calms the nerves.

They tell me it collects the thoughts.

I’m not sure how collected mine will ever be,

but it’s worth a try, for the sake of my sanity.

 

One.

This is all my fault,

I’ve been asking for it.

He says this hurts him more than it hurts me,

but man, I find that hard to believe.

 

Two.

Who needs a lullaby

When you can get twelve strokes a night?

This is one bedtime story I wish he’d stop telling,

because it gets old, all of the yelling.

 

Three.

A tear falls silently,

because any sound I make

makes this nightmare worse for me.

And already, I can’t breathe.

 

Four.

Stop crying, he says,

Or I’ll give you something to cry about.

As if my battered back and bloody lip

were something I could easily forget.

 

Five.

I watch the other daddies laugh and play,

running round and round the playground.

They fill and overflow the park,

while my daddy, well he prefers to play in the dark.

 

Six.

I know it’s wrong.

I know what you’re doing is wrong.

But I listen when you tell me they told you it’s right.

I listen when you say to give up the fight.

Seven.

I’m not a little kid anymore.

I could hold my own against you,

but I can’t bring myself to retaliate.

So instead, I’ll embrace my fire burning with hate.

 

Eight.

This is all your fault.

I never asked for a damn thing.

You say, it’ll hurt you more than it hurts me.

Well this time, that’s something I can believe.

 

Nine.

I’ve lived in Hell for far too long.

I won’t stand for it anymore.

You can’t give and not expect to get,

so I’m willing to match you hit for hit.

 

Ten.

You say you’re sorry,

you didn’t mean me any harm.

But it’s too late for that, the damage is done.

So it’s your turn, let’s start back at number one.

 

I’m polishing.

They say revenge is never the answer.

They tell me an eye for an eye isn’t the way to go.

But it’s worth making the whole world blind,

if it means I finally get my peace of mind.

 

This poem is about: 
Me

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