Hurts Me More Than You: A Poem by Sam

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Trigger warning for Hurts Me More Than You series: posts in this series may include detailed descriptions of corporal punishment and physical abuse and violence towards children.

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“Love?”: A Poem by Sam

 

A child naked, helpless, letting himself be hit.

If he resists he will be hit more, if he doesn’t stop crying on command it is the same.

Every time he doesn’t obey unquestioningly,

Even if he just doesn’t want to finish his lima beans.

“We only do this because we love you.”

But is it love, or something very different?

 

Parents talk of all day spanking sessions till “they” are black and blue

After work a father continues what his wife did all day.

They talk to their pastors who tell them to continue to achieve the desired outcome.

Unquestioned obedience the only apparent goal.

“We only do this because we love you.”

But is it love, or something very different?

 

“You can only have friends over if the house is clean.”

But the house is never clean enough.

Friends do things differently, to dangerous to remain friends.

Xanga blocked. E-mail monitored. Mail read. Checkmate trapped.

“We only do this because we love you.”

But is it love, or something very different?

 

Behind in logic when it is reviewed the first time all semester

Upset mother. Tension palpable. She grabs coat to leave.

Son begs her not to go. “Tell your father I’m leaving.”

He comes home, begs forgiveness, and searches.

“We only do this because we love you.”

But is it love, or something very different?

 

I awake.  I can smell dinner in the kitchen.

We’re all there, we smile and eat. No one explains, no one questions.

Three months later I burst into tears at what was swept under the rug.

“Why do you bring things up that happened so long ago?”

“We only do this because we love you.”

But is it love, or something very different?

 

Of course since you are a Christian, you believe this.

What that means in practice varies by the day.

Questions are dismissed. Opinions can change,

But only if it is a parents thought.

“We only do this because we love you.”

But is it love, or something very different?

 

Son fails out of school, a perfect trophy no more.

Explosions from minor things. Parents are impossible to please.

He works hard and returns to finish what he started.

Professors see a success. Parents still only see a failure.

“We only do this because we love you.”

But is it love, or something very different?

 

Gorgeous woman. Incredible friend. Determined to treat her right.

Hugs and dancing leads to consternation.

Forced home. Cut off. Will Broken.

Why do I feel forced to agree to every demand?

“We only do this because we love you.”

But is it love, or something very different?

 

They try to sabotage and marry smile as we say “I do.”

We leave and cleave and start an incredible life.

Married children are not to be respected as adults.

If they think differently, they can not interact with younger siblings.

“We only do this because we love you.”

But is it love, or something very different?

 

I awake.  This is not right.

“You may not keep treating me this way.”

“Son, stop being bitter, get past the hurt.

“Why do you bring things up that happened so long ago?”

“We only do this because we love you.”

 

But this is not love, this is very different.

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