I was married on Dec 6. 1992. Even though it was the same day, it was 3 years after 14 women were murdered at Polytechnique. However, it was a day which stuck with me for the feeling of those who lost their lives and for the fact that I grew up in a violent home. I chose to never allow myself or my home to be something so terrible. When I decided to end this marriage in 1999 I wrote this poem. As I wrote I heard in the background on the radio 5 more women were gunned down in Baltimore.

this_day_525

This Day

On this day which is so special to me
there is a dark cloud above raining on a river which flows to the sea
It was on this day when I said, “I do,”
I believed I would learn about love and spend the rest of my life with you
So, why on this day which was special to me, did fourteen women need to die, fourteen of the best?

There is not a lot I can do or a lot I can say
I cannot bring back those fourteen lives
I can only know the poison and walk my own way
It does not seem like much and it haunts me to wonder why
So many dreams were crushed, so many tears were cried.

When I try to practice what I have written here, some comes easy and some comes filled with fear
I do not let this stop me from striving each day, to let my heart speak what it really needs to say
Here are fourteen reasons but, there are many more
Each one is special, each one opens a door
Each one is different and leads to a sacred place
Each one is full of love and leads to more open space

Look into her eyes when you want to come clean
Look into her eyes and feel what she means
Make a contribution to her endeavours without any strings
Trust her, never lie to her, and listen until her heart sings

Be interested in her beliefs even if they are different than yours.
Back off when she is angry and looking for more.
Do not use your physical advantage to dominate a fight.
Do not be stubborn even if you feel you are right.

Stop for a moment when you just want to shout.
Stop for a moment and think of what it is all about.
Laugh and cry with her and dedicate a safe place.
For it is the gateway to intimacy, the gateway to grace.

So, why on this day which was so special to me
do I just want you gone, do I just want you free
Why do I hear on the radio low in the background while I write
today in Baltimore, five more women were gunned down?
And, it’s raining… (Ken Bateman, December 6, 2000)