Trailer Built for Two

All I wanted was a dusty corner

Away from him to hide

He had just hurt my feelings

He had just hurt my pride

But there was nowhere to go

In the trailer built for two

I was trapped in a cage

Like a tiger at a zoo.


It didn‘t get any better

His eyes of fury stared

My heart and body feared him

When I recognized that glare

I knew the hurts were coming

So I tried to brave the blows

But it didn’t matter what I did

I watched the hatred grow.

‘Repeat performance’ he said to me

‘But this time you really deserved it

Afterall, you’re not supposed to cry

The neighbors will think you were hit.’

OK, OK, just let me flee-

Far from the trailer for two.

And I will unlock myself from

this cage

The one like the tiger at the zoo.


cjm

circa 1988


I wrote this poem 31 years ago shortly after ‘the day in May’ written about in ‘Tin Trailer Captive’. Steel Magnolia first turned me on to the idea of ‘unlocking myself from the cage’ as she had seen and recognized a pattern among abused women to stay in their circumstances no matter who or what tried to convince them to leave. She described the cage with the lock on the inside. It was my first lesson in empowering women and men rather than enabling them. Sometimes, the last vestige of personhood and choice one has is to choose to stay behind bars or to unlock the cage, from the inside. Coaching and empowering an abused person to ‘unlock themselves’ is a valuable (and often lasting) motive to convey.



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