Her clothes felt heavy and her shoes lead lined,
like in a nightmare when you run and run
and you just can’t get anywhere.
Her arm hung heavily at her side as big bruises
surfaced in darkening black and blue
her torn lip, a tortured broken face.
She was at her prison door and they said to her
Get out and come down the road to us.
We the police will find you safety.
Quietly, opening the wedge to a home less wrecked
and ushered the shivering children through.
What would be the cruel cost?
Hushed they walked through the blackening night,
towards a beacon of peace and hopefulness
then heard the running steps behind.
She pushed them up the drive of a waiting house
and hid behind the hedge while violence
ran muttering and threatening by.
They waited feeling the cold seeping through
their threadbare clothes grabbed in fright,
heard his oath filled cursing return.
Teeth chattering, huddled together she prayed,
and then they flitted like shadows down
the road and saw the man in blue.
He had set them onto searching for her, to fetch
her home, to bloody her battered body
but the Copper welcomed them in.
The doctor saw and treated her scars kindly
while the children stared with dead eyes
longing for comfort and a refuge.
Next they hid in a house without a view
a poor place that was simply the best
for the beaten, hopeless homeless.