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Tenter Hooks Once More. (The First Night)

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Tenter Hooks Once More. 
(The first night)

The third in a series of poems attempting to capture the experience of leaving an abusive relationship. This poem is a reflection of my first night in a refuge. 

It was a long night

In a strange place

In an uncomfortable bed

Not that the lumps in the mattress really mattered

Most of the night was spent on the edge


The baby was restless

She must have known about the stress

They pick up on it you know!

I had wanted to do what I do at home


I wanted to take her walking around the floors and through the doors

But fear of waking twelve other women 

And numerous offspring

Had kept me in my box room


It’s hard to keep a baby calm

When all around there sounds the alarm

Of fear, depression and concern

Your only thought is of going

Home soon

She really misses her musical bunny

I fail miserably at holding a tune


Finally she falls asleep

I can’t help but gaze at her beautiful face

In the dim night light

I make promises to her

Daddy really loves you

I hate it when we fight

Daddy doesn’t mean it

It’s just mummy winds him up sometimes

I promise we will go home

And that mummy and daddy

Will be alright


Suddenly it’s morning

The light slips through the curtain gap

My eyes blink

Baby is lying quietly awake

Strange voices and footsteps

Pass by the bedroom door

I’m on tenter hooks once more. 



◄ Tenter hooks and Pitiful Looks. (The Refuge)

Kind gestures and suspicious looks. (The First Morning) ►


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John Botterill

Thu 11th May 2023 08:53

Haunting, scary, and true. Inspirational writing, Clare.

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Wed 10th May 2023 18:03

That is a very kind comment, Manish - Thank you so much for your lovely words.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and push the like button. It is very much appreciated particularly as I do realise it is not the jolliest of subjects!

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Manish Singh Rajput

Wed 10th May 2023 04:51

This poem is striking beautiful, Clare. One of the best poems I've come across. Descriptive, crisp imagery, emotional, and calm in chaos.
Thank you for this.

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