10 Poems – Jennifer Skeen

Author: Jennifer Skeen, Pima Community College


I hide the bruises and the tears

No one can ever know the truth

How can I live without you

You made my world isolation

Can I trust the friends I once had

Will they say I deserve what you do

I know you say I did you wrong

I swear I try to do everything right

How am I supposed to know what you want

I can not read your mind

Please just let me breathe

I swear that I won’t scream

The cops don’t need to know

I swear the neighbors are lying

I didn’t call the cops

I don’t know why they are here

I will be quieter next time

Please just don’t leave any marks

Work is asking questions

I can only trip so many times

I swear that I won’t leave



You took my innocence

I will never get that back

I was told I was worthless

Never good enough

The words you shout

Night after Night after Night

Tear me down

There is nothing left

The friends I lost

You claim they never mattered

The family that cries for me

You made me believe they didn’t care

You say that all I need is you

You know what’s best

You know what’s right

How am I to know?

Oh, because you say so



Please don’t hit me again.

My head still hurts from yesterday

I swear I will remember,

You like things done your way


Please don’t say you will share me with your friends

I swear I won’t talk to anyone else

I promise not to smile anymore

Keep me to yourself


Please don’t break all my things

I really didn’t mean to make you mad

I will diligently clean it up

You know it makes me sad



Why didn’t you listen

Why don’t you do what I want

Why don’t you follow orders

Why don’t you get it right


I told you once how to do it,

I thought that you would learn

Why can’t you get it right?

Do you like to see your skin burn?

You say that you love me

Then why did that man smile at you

How do you know him, You cheated!

I will teach you not to smile too


Why didn’t you listen

Why don’t you do what I want

Why don’t you follow orders

Why don’t you get it right


I said that I wanted dinner done at Six

What the hell, it’s quarter after

I told you to follow my instructions

You know I am your master

These words are said with love

Each hit because I care

You think that you can leave?

Don’t you even Dare!


Why didn’t you listen

Why don’t you do what I want

Why don’t you follow orders

Why don’t you get it right



I will kill you if you leave

No one else can have you

Do you think that they want you

You’re broken and ugly

Why should I even love you

Is that really what your wearing

So, you want him to look at you

Are you fucking him too

I knew you were a whore

I told you to listen

I taught you how to do it right

I only do this out of love

You asked for it

Why do you make me do this

I swear you are just stupid

Don’t you know it means I care

It won’t happen again

I was drunk and you didn’t listen

You want me beat you, don’t you

Just go get raped

The marks aren’t that bad

You better say you fell

Stop your crying and take your punishment

If you didn’t want me to hit you,

You should have loved me more


What’s his excuse?



I didn’t want it

I want my innocence back

I want my heart back

I didn’t want the pain and the shame

How was I supposed to know it would end up this way

I swear I said no,

I swear I begged him to stop

I said the words they taught in school

But nothing worked

He said that I asked for it

I was just a tease, wearing that skirt

I never should have done that

All I did was flirt

I needed a lesson, he needed to be the one to teach me

He says that he did it out of love

That now I belong to him.

His words were all said in love and anger, obsession

His actions, of ownership and pain

The rape, the bruises, the shame

He says it’s all my fault

I need to learn to obey, to make myself his

Never speak out of turn, never disagree

He branded me, not just body, but my soul

Author’s note:

I wrote all of these poems from personal experience. I spent 5 years in a relationship with someone who decided to belittle and abuse his way into controlling me. He broke many things that were very important to me and once burned a hole in a quilt my grandmother made me as punishment for something he deemed “wrong”. I was once told that he was going to place a sign on the door telling everyone to come inside and rape me since I would be willing, all because he decided I flirted with someone else. It took me a long time to get over the relationship and realize that what he was doing was wrong and controlling. The night I left for good he actually threatened me with a gun and himself. I realized I wanted to live. I ended up in an emotionally abusive marriage after that, which tells me that I didn’t let myself heal long enough, or get strong enough before getting into something new. I did learn in the last year of my marriage to stand up for myself once I saw what it was doing to my kids. I now have two children who have PTSD and behavior issues at the ages of 3 and 6. I am writing this so that people understand that there is life after all of this misery. I am now married to a wonderful man, who treats my kids as his own. He doesn’t treat me anything like I used to deal with. He encourages me to be myself and to grow with him. I was broken and beaten down, I used writing to make myself strong and to make myself heard. I sang songs at the top of my lungs that made me feel strong. I took the friends that I thought I didn’t have and I turned them into my allies against the hate and bullying I dealt with. I am here for anyone who needs someone to talk to. If you don’t want to reach out to your friends and family here are just  a few resources that you can use:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline 
1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

National Dating Abuse Helpline 

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence 
www.nrcdv.org and www.vawnet.org


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