A Poem: Calling

He called my name,

my full given name

pronounced each syllable

that my mother spoke

the day I was born.


He called my name,

like he knew my gait

how each foot landed

when I walked to Sunday School

in too tight patent leather shoes.


He called my name,

as though he were calling

his church congregation to pray

at the altar and cast out demons,

healing the lame and sick.


He called my name,

with engagement ring in hand,

calling my soul to be a part

of his side; his rib

forming this woman from clay.


He called my name,

with a voice filled with tender

caresses instead of brutal

beatings that occurred

every week since we met.


He called my name,

and I said, “no, you’re not

worthy to say those syllables

from a serpents tongue”;

he no longer calls my name.


(c) 2015 by Joyce M. Rose-Harris

This poem was inspired by women I have spoken to women directly impacted by domestic violence.  It is to highlight that domestic violence is present in varying relationships even those we don’t suspect.


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