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Poets Corner: I took my black dress down today
Published on February 17, 2017 Email To Friend    Print Version

I took my black dress down today

By Mutryce A. Williams

I took my black dress down today and lay it across the bed,
I shined my shoes, dusted off my black broad brimmed hat,
I took my black sunglasses out, the ones like the ones I bought you,
The ones I bought you, to cover your blood shot, blackened, bruised and busted eyes,
Then I put them back, I put them back, I put them back,
Why, why, why you may ask,
Because I have no more tears left to shed,
Because I have long prepared myself, tried to harden myself for the day,
That day when I get that call,
Not that call telling me that you are in an emergency room once again,
Not that call telling me that you are clinging to life in a hospital bed… once again,
But that call, that call,
That call, that call, telling me that you are dead.

I took my black dress down today and lay it across the bed,
When I heard that you were seen about town, beaming, radiant in red,
Roses in hand, dinner by candlelight, the sight of hope, romance and rekindled love,
You see I took that black dress down even before you called me,
Telling me, telling me, telling me, that you were going to give it one more try,
Telling me that things would be different this time, telling me that he was sorry,
Telling me that he would change, telling me that you would behave,
Because you, you, your actions and behaviour provoked his anger and fueled his rage,
But my dear friend, have you forgotten, that we have done this dance before,
And I have heard this record play time and time again,

Have forgotten how many times I have waited for the police with you,
Stood in front of the magistrate with you so that you may get that restraining order,
Have you forgotten how many times I have put myself in harm’s way for you,
Bore the brunt of his anger and resentment trying to protect you,
In my efforts to rescue and save you,
Have you forgotten that I was the one who waited with you, each time, each time you sought counsel,
We have done this dance before, so I took my black dress down and lay it across the bed,

Don’t worry you say, I will be fine you say, I am Cat woman you say,
Nine lives is what I have, I am a big girl you say, I can handle him you say,
But it pains me, it pains your family and friends to see you, see you, see you,
Play, play Russian roulette with your life, time and time again,
How do you think your story will end,
So I took my black dress down today and lay it across the bed,

Let me see, how did it all start again?
No I don’t mean your love story, not the story you sell yourself each time you decide to return,
But the story which lead to his burning the curling iron into your skin,
A firm grasp, he spat on you, kicked you, tugged you, dragged you naked through the streets,
He demeaned you, called you ugly, whore, stupid, reprobate
He slapped you, rearranged you, and threatened to chop off your head,
Broken jaw, broken hand, and broken nose,
Gun to your head and gun in your mouth, telling you he is going to fill you with lead,
Telling you that you are a vile and despicable being,
Telling you that you are nothing and constantly saying he would rather you dead,
So I took my black dress down today that special black dress,

How much closer to death must you come?
Telling me, telling us all…that you would rather have bad times with him,
Bad times, this isn’t a Luther Vandross song, this is life, your life,
There is nothing else that I can say or that we can say,
We are struggling, drowning, sacrificing, and trying our best to save you,
Save you, save you from yourself, save you from him,
He who has professed his love time and time again,
Yet, yet, sees it fit to maim you, beat you, kick you, demean you,
And who has repeatedly threatened to kill you,
What else is left for him to do, to you,
So I took my black dress down today lay it across the bed,
That special black dress that I bought, that dress that I bought,
The last time they were about to pronounce you dead!
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