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16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence #day7

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16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence #Day7

Reasons you might stay in an abusive relationship

*Perhaps the violence has crept up on you slowly.
*Perhaps he apologises afterwards, and he’s genuinely sorry
*Perhaps he won’t leave.  How do you get someone to leave a house who refuses anyway?
*Perhaps it’s not really violence at all.
*Perhaps the arguments are your fault
*Perhaps you’re imagining it.
*Perhaps you’re making it worse.
*Perhaps he has threatened your family.
*Perhaps he said he was joking
*Perhaps you are tired
*Perhaps you’ve tried to leave and he’s followed you
*

Below is a video of the Army Ants in their Death Spiral.  According to Wikipedia, they are blind, and when separated from the main party, they lose the pheromone track and begin to follow one another, forming a continuously rotating circle, until eventually they die of exhaustion.

*Perhaps you’ve lost the way out
*Perhaps you’ve been tricked into thinking you belong where you’ve found yourself
*Perhaps you’ve been tricked

In the poem ‘In That Year’ (Day 1) you will find this couplet

And in that year my tongue spoke the language
of insects and not even my father knew me. 

The day I wrote this poem, I understood that I was writing a sequence.  Up to that point, I’d been writing poems, and keeping them secret, not showing anybody.

I was supposed to be writing a sequence at the time.  Under strict instructions from Ann and Peter Sansom.  I was a student on their 18 month ‘Writing School’ and that was the task.  Write a sequence.  Except I hated sequences.  Until I started writing one myself.

The Language of Insects 

This is the language of insects, this body
low to the ground, this single purpose,
this living with dirt, this stop-start-stop,
this construction of fabulous structures,
this non-human logic, this cannot-live-without
the-other, this no-good-as-a-single-entity,
this language, this language, please I cannot
meet your kind again, you showed me
what knees were really for, no forgiveness,
none at all, this movement, this movement,
there are spiders that eat one another,
there are ants that follow each other
in a spiral, smaller and smaller
until they take the life from one another,
a black fist, all I know creeps to the edges
of rooms, the flies on the windowsills,
the buzzing, the buzzing that made it begin.