From the man who raped my mother.
An act that resulted in my birth. The passing of a shadow. Of violence, rage, hurt, hatred. A shadow so big that it has touched the lives of so many. That man convicted and sentenced. Crime upon crime, to the young, to the younger.
The shadow was handed down to my would be father. It devoured and consumed the man. The shadow proved bigger than he.
My mother cannot sit with me. Because she sees that man. The man who beat and raped her. My mother was touched as a child. By the shadows of men. She told me as a boy that I would be like them. That I would be a monster. The disgust in her eyes, the loathing in her words. The rage in her fists, the hurt, the hate. The passing of a shadow.
The shadow was handed down to my mother. It devoured and consumed the woman. The shadow proved bigger than she.
My step father would sit in the dark with his shadow. Waiting for my mother to come home. She chose to party instead. So I as a small child was my step fathers punching bag. Dragging me out of bed by my hair. Punching me, kicking me, throwing me against the wall. Every night the hate in his eyes, the rage in his fists, and his hurt. The passing of a shadow.
The shadow was handed down to my father. It devoured and consumed the man. The shadow proved bigger than he.
My children were born of love. They sleep safe. Unlike their father they were wanted and cherished. Adored, and safe. No shadow of violence, no rage or hate. They know nothing of that shadow.
To those that touched me. To those that beat me and kept me small. Know that the shadows were handed down. I devoured and consumed them. I proved bigger than the shadows given to me. I stood up and battled those demons. And my children are free.
My poem, ‘The Shadow of Men’, 2016
This edition was published on Facebook and Linkedin August 7, 2021.
Copyright© Tim Tipene, 2016 & 2021.