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After twenty-seven years, this was the beginning of the end. This is dedicated to all of you who have suffered silent bruises to the heart and soul, and still continue to forge on because it’s what families do.

The first time,
your words cut through me
to the very core.
Each word
made me feel
smaller and smaller –and I stayed.
I stayed
because we were young
and in love.
I stayed because it was
my fault…
I stayed because
you loved me
and it showed.
The next time, your words
cut through me again, and
again I disappeared.
But I stayed because
it was obviously my fault,
and you loved me.
I can’t begin to count
each and every time
your words cut me,
made me smaller,
made me disappear…
but I stayed.
I stayed
because that’s what
married couples do…
they don’t give up,
they forge ahead.
At some point, I began
to realize, it wasn’t
my fault, but I stayed.
I stayed because we don’t give up.
The words continued to cut
as I sat there and listened
and I stayed.
I stayed because,
it didn’t happen often,
and words…
words do not leave bruises.
Your words continued to cut
but no longer was it just me,
it was them too,
and I stayed,
I stayed out of habit.
I wish…
I wish that for once
your words would leave a
bruise, just so that
I can have proof
that words do leave a mark.

~L. Mireles October 2006

On April 29, 2009, I finally had the courage to leave.