Every day on my way to work I drive by the same house near the corner of Culver and Main
There’s always a woman there with her three kids, loading them onto the bus.
Sometimes she’s drinking coffee or smoking
But she always looks like the weight of the world has been placed on her shoulders
And her sole job in life is to figure out a way to get it off.
I look at her every time and now she’s become familiar and I expect her.
She’s a birthday card from a long distant aunt.
Recently I drove by, and she was out there, in the same way
Except she had been beaten very badly about her face.
Her kids were there, getting on the bus, and her face was there too, swollen in different colors.
I was instantly incensed and I went to work that day and discussed Employee Assistance Programs.
The director of the program showed a statistic about how many people have been helped
It was broken down by category or the reason they called
Financial Trouble – 13
Employee Relationship – 29
Student Loan – 7
Professional Advice – 5
I stared at all the categories and their numbers until I saw
Domestic Violence – 0
Everyone needs to do more than help women and men who suffer from domestic violence and
Everyone in the room agreed, and later, because of my advocacy, I got a raise.
Imagine that: I got a raise for someone else taking the brunt of their loved one’s fists.
I’ll drive by with my extra $25 a week and stare at the black, blue, red, yellow, and purple
Bruises of this city
And just keep driving
With my eyes focused just in front of the hood of my truck
Intent on helping but
Joining the rest of the crowd
And watching instead.