with ulcers on her buttocks.
She has been beaten by her son
who lives with her
in one small room that shakes.
The visiting nurse
reported the act
but nothing has changed
except the woman’s face,
which appeared swollen and bruised
the following day.
Perhaps if he killed her
her suffering would end,
the story would make it to the news.
The son’s threats scare the nurse away:
She has decided this is the last day.
There has been a protest,
“not one less”.
Yet the woman continues to sit
hidden away from the world,
at the mercy of her son’s outbursts,
who had also hit his pregnant wife.
The visiting nurse concludes
that the woman in the bed
must have been a bad mother.
Today is her last day in this unsafe place.
*Author Note: This is a true story. On June 3 2015 there was a march in Buenos Aires to protest violence against women. The slogan was “Not one less” (Ni una menos). Protests also took place in Chile and Uruguay. You can read about these protests here:
Many women continue to suffer silently in the hands of their abusers because they have no support system.
Julia Hones has had her stories and poems published in various literary journals and anthologies including Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Gadfly Online, Vox Poetica, Cliterature, Loud Zoo, Medical Literary Messenger, Embodied Effigies, Digital Papercut, The Artistic Muse, Black Mirror Magazine, The Voices Project, TRIVIA: Voices of Feminism, The mindful word, and many others. Her poetry has been a semifinalist for the Mary Ballard Poetry Prize 2015.