Category Archives: poetry

Can the Relationship Be Saved?

hurting heartFrom time to time, an abuse victim will ask me, “Do you believe our relationship can be saved?”  Instantly, I feel the weight of it, for the question is filled with untold emotion and self-doubt.

I have a pretty good idea where she is coming from.  If she is anything like I was, the abuse victim has staked her future on a hope that she can somehow hold things together while helping the abuser to work through his issues, believing she might possess some intangible quality that will ultimately move him to address not only his unhealthy behaviors, but his very nature.  So for the victim, it is the investment of herself she seeks to redeem, as surely it would be a terrible waste to forfeit that which has consumed so much of her life’s energy if, by some miracle, a favorable outcome may be imminent. 

But, what if it becomes apparent that all of her efforts have amounted to nothing?  Submitting to such a hard truth will inflict pain enough.  The admission will add another layer of uncertainty to her already stressful life, and she will face the judgment of many who will hastily conclude that it was she who failed.  Continue reading Can the Relationship Be Saved?

The Bench

The Bench

“Please,” the man said, “if you wouldn’t mind,”

And at first I believed he was thoughtful and kind

He pondered a moment, then pointed to where

A rustic old bench sat under the stair


“There are others whose dress is better selected

Whose hair and accoutrements are more keenly collected

But you may observe and keep watch from that place

A distance apart from the revelers’ gaze”


Although his words pierced as a sword through my soul

I timidly moved to my place in the hole

Knowing I never would join in the fray

And the bench became my companion that day


My ragged appearance could not match the rest

Yet my heart beat the same inside of my chest

As I stroked the rough planks of the bench where I waited

My dream of acceptance would not this day be sated


Countless long hours the bench was my friend

Neither shame nor my loneliness came to an end

For my eyes held no beauty, my gait showed no grace

The bench’s cruel judgment was etched on my face


‘Til the moment a man came, looked into my eyes

Smiled, took my hand in His, to my surprise

He led me so tenderly, whispered, “There’s more,”

And I feared He might ask me to sit on the floor


I could not still my heart from its penitent race

As He tenderly pulled back the hair from my face

“You are lovely,” He said. “It is so clear to Me,

You are patient and gentle and kind as could be.”


I gasped in His presence, it was clear He had seen

Every tear I had wept, every anguishing dream

And He smiled and He pointed to the front of the hall

Before all of the guests who had come to His ball


“You will never again sit away from the throng

On that horrid old bench where you do not belong

For you are My princess, honored and blessed

From now ‘til forever you’ll be properly dressed


“You have not been forgotten, you have not been alone

I have seen you seated back there from My throne

Receive all I have for You, My darling, My prize

Today I will relish the light in your eyes”


How tragic to see, if I only had known

The bench was a stop on my way to His throne

I’d have held my head high, been proud of my name

For the bench and my value were never the same.


 © 2012, Cindy Burrell, All Rights Reserved