The Door – A Poem About Abuse

The Door – A Poem About Abuse

As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, SICK! Festival wants to help raise awareness on the issue and talk about the ways we can help support survivors. This week, a poem from writer A.J. Kay.  AJ plays with storytelling to help herself and others make meaning of the complex human condition.


Much of my writing is autobiographical. This one is notThis one is about my best friend who was a domestic abuse survivor. We started it together and I finished it alone.


She slams the door

And bolts the lock

Silence falls.

Wait…knock, knock, knock


A drawn-in breath

Held still as night

Counts one to ten

She dims the light



She can barely hear

His steps retreat

And disappear


The silence calms

Her battered head

Now that he’s gone

She’s off to bed.


A mirrored glance

She sees she’ll need

To stitch her wounds

To stop the bleed


The quiet shatters,

Dreadful Boom!

Her head snaps back

It shakes the room


She hurls her weight

Against the door

He’s more insistent

than before


The wood, it gives

It never breaks

A single weak spot’s

All it takes


Lithe metal

Infiltrates the gap

The door, it yields

But doesn’t snap.


The silver claw

It’s lengthy base

His weapon

Inches from her face


She pushes back

To no avail

Her effort futile

Fated fail


A pop, then creak

The hinges strain

The door is opened

Once again.


Face to face

She stares him down

He pushes back

She’s on the ground.


His gaze is firm

He grips the pry

And feigns a blow

She starts to cry.


Surveying down

He swaggers out

A smirk, a laugh

No hint of doubt


He didn’t really

Want inside

He wanted her

To know he tried


And when he tries

He gets his wants

He saunters off

Still hurling taunts.


She gets up once she’s

Sure he’s gone

The light, a gift

It’s almost dawn


She shuts the scratched

and damaged door

And closes herself in

Once more.


She breathes a sigh

And turns the lock

And limps away.




She’s done.

She reaches in the drawer

And takes her aim,

Takes out the door.


To read more of A.J.Kay’s work, visit:

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