a poem by Ricardo Hanley Jr.

She intently scrolled through my phone
and deemed every woman a hoe.
I stood silent, knowing exactly how this would go.
I’m not one to pretend nor make an attempt
to defend against her imagination,
of which I know, I can never contend.
But, again the insults flew at me,
a swarm of stinging bees
but I was immune for a time.
Her wild rage grew, as I watched,
she became a slave to her own mind.
The curses and accusations meeting my silence.
Like gasoline poured onto flames violent,
a blind fury burning in her brown eyes,
now shining crimson and violet.
I did my best to drown her out,
with unspoken thoughts, until again,
I was hit in my mouth.

I closed my eyes, seeking the best route I could find,
in the stillness of my building anger,
Mama’s voice went ringing through my mind,
“Never place your hands on a woman,”
a lesson revealing one side.
I continued searching my depths for the lesson

which I could justly apply.

Papa’s voice rang out mentally, “walk away, walk it off,”
adhering his potent passive words,

and knowing one wrong move whether justly or unjustly deserved,

in a moment all could be lost,

should I cast the second stone, I’ll be nailed to the cross.
I disappeared like Christ into the darkness of the night,
with my integrity in tact and problematic phone as my guiding light.

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