dVerse — Prosery — Morning Muse

Wall Art - Digital Art - Domestic Violence by Femina Photo Art By Maggie

What are the roots that clutch,
what branches grow out of this stony rubbish?
— by T.S. Eliot, from The Waste Land

 

Morning Muse

She lay in a heap at the bottom of the back steps. Cold from the October morning’s hard-packed dirt crept into the arm, her right, that crumpled askew under her large disheveled frame.

He stood at the top of the steps looking down at her, open contempt sneering his features. She preferred the late night stumbling drunk callous cruelty of his words to this.

I told you, c***, I like my orange juice without pulp,” he said, then turned around and walked back inside.

She exerted her slack muscles, tense as once she moved she’d be able to know if anything felt broken. Nothing stabbed or screamed in the arm. She stood, waiting until she heard the slam of the front door.

Sipping coffee and petting Puffles, she mused, “What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow out of this stony rubbish?

[144 words]

Top image: “Social Issues,” by Maggie V. Lazny

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  I found a couple of really good videos to share.
One is from Leslie Morgan Steiner,  a woman who survived domestic violence and gives good insights into the dynamic.  Another is from Jackson Katz, a man I highly admire, who says violence against women is a men’s issue.

Mish is today’s host for dVerse’ Prosery. Mish says:
In composing your prosery for dVerse, you must incorporate the above line into a piece of flash fiction, non fiction or creative fiction. It MUST be prose (a short story) , not poetry or prose poetry. It must be no more than 144 words in length, not including the title. Please include the entire quote. You may change punctuation and capitalization but do not insert words within the quote. Also, give reference to the quote below your prose. Whew!!! Those are the rules, now go have some fun!

42 Comments Add yours

  1. Mish says:

    Violence is rubbish but the “clutch” is harder to escape than many think. Your prose is a well depicted scene from so many sad situations. Thank you for sharing the videos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Mish thank you very much, and you’re welcome.

      Like

  2. gillena says:

    Sad one! where is the resolve?

    much❤love

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Gillena, maybe today is the day for her? This may be the first time she’s asked herself the question. Awareness is the first step. Now she needs to carefully plot a safe escape.

      Like

  3. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    Only thing worse than battering women, is beating and abusing children. And yet, women stay, as if they don’t deserve better; pushes my buttons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glenn, thank you for your sensitive comment. Hopefully you can watch the two videos I linked to, which give excellent insight into it at both the micro and macro levels.

      Like

  4. Bleak as hell, as it must be to tell this kind of story. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much, ByteSizedStudio.

      Like

  5. merrildsmith says:

    Thank you for writing this, Lisa. I know this is the story of many women–and also men, who perhaps don’t know how to break a cycle they’ve experienced, too. I suspect violence against women has increased recently.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      You’re welcome, and I suspect the same. Thank you for reading and understanding about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. merrildsmith says:

        I’ve done so much work on the subject, covering many times and places–unfortunately.😔

        Liked by 1 person

  6. lillian says:

    So so sadly fitting for domestic violence awareness month. Chilling. My heart goes out to victims of domestic violence….far too often hidden behind closed doors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Lillian. It’s a pervasive problem with an inadequate institutional response.

      Like

  7. Paul says:

    Thanks for writing this Lisa. Very intense vignette which captured the issue very well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Paul, thank you very much for your thoughtful response.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. memadtwo says:

    An issue that needs continual new discussion. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      AGREED, Kerfe.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The line works so well in this sad piece as the roots run deep in battered women, and the marriage is beyond rocky and hard. Powerful write!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Tricia, many thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Helen Dehner says:

    You ended this tale of horror ~~~ perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Helen, *thank*you* ❤

      Like

  11. rothpoetry says:

    This was a truly painful story, but beautifully written! So sad that this happens all to often.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Dwight, much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rothpoetry says:

        You are welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Sadje says:

    Heartbreaking story

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Sadje.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome Li

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Domestic violence has been pushed so far under the bed that most pretend it does not exist. We just can’t let it lie there. You did well to highlight it, Li.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Punam, you are so right. Silence is what lets evil continue, for domestic violence and many other things. Shine the light on it and it crawls back under its rock.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We have to keep shining the light. It has been normalised a bit too much!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. “I told you, c***, I like my orange juice without pulp,” he said, then turned around and walked back inside.

    This is awful, Lisa, if you know what I mean… 😞

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I almost went this route for the challenge, but I find myself writing about it rather a lot. Well done Lisa for keeping the light shining on domestic abuse. It may be a men’s issue according to Jackson Katz, but they need to just cut it out. 😢

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Christine. I know you are well-versed in the dynamic by reading your poems on the subject. I like that both speakers call out anyone who witnesses it to speak out, and to ask questions when they suspect it’s happening.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I like that too. I wish more people would do so.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. writingwhatnots says:

    Stark reality brought to life here – well done Lisa. My neighbour is a policeman, who tells us that during lockdown domestic call outs rocketed 😟

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      😦 It’s a hardship that compounds trauma of the rest of this nightmare that is covid.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Dale says:

    Wonderfully done. I hope she hacks away at those roots so that she can settle elsewhere. Away. Far away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I hope so too, thank you for your wonderful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I cannot really understand how people become so abusive… in many cases, ir has to be deep-rooted insecurity… maybe it’s the same emotions that keep the abused staying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It is a complex dynamic for sure. The batterer is a black hole of need, and the victim often will sacrifice their own life in trying to fill that hole.

      Like

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