A Day, Recast

April 11, 2019

by Jamie Noulty, MA Student

I wrote this poem several years ago during my undergraduate career.

It was for a class on “Gender, Violence, and Resistance”, and for some unknown reason I thought I would try my hand at poetry. I’m not a poet and probably never will be, but thought what the hell.

The concept came to me in the middle of the night. However, I did the actual writing on the Skytrain. I started the poem on the way to class and it was finished on the way home. It’s odd; I am a terribly slow writer, but this one came quickly.

The concept is fairly simple and sadly all too familiar. It’s about someone stuck in a terrible relationship just going through the daily motions of life. Not really living, just surviving, until they realise they need to make a change.

I don’t want to explain it too much, but here are the three main points:

·         You have a voice.
·         There are many organisations that offer help and support.
·         Get involved. Even if you haven’t been in a situation like this, far too many have.

The rest is open to interpretation.



A Day, Recast

Dawn, the darkest hour
Which day was it? No Idea. All blended together.
Yesterday, the day before, week, month, year.
All the same.
Not today though.

I awoke.
The house was quiet and dark; the only sound was the shuffling of feet.
No laughter, no joy, no happiness, not even sadness – just life.
This was no way to Live, I had enough.

The child at school, alone I sat.
Debating, contemplating, infuriating, and confusing myself.

Who?               Easy answer. Me and the child.          
         Where?            No idea.  Anywhere but here.                      
                     When?             Now!                                   
                                What?              Stumped me?
                                                    What direction?
                                                    What choices? What options? What support?
                                                    What, what, what – spinning my head in circles

Were there others like me? There must be.
I’ve seen many shuffle. Solemn and melancholy. Alone.
I had always been alone, felt alone. No I was alone!
Not today though.              

Sunrise, brightening
There were others like me!
I had seen the ‘commercials’, the ‘ads’, the ‘posters’.
                            Domestic violence – widespread.
Someone must have gotten out.
Broke free/Ran away/Escaped/even hid.

There were others like me!
Where? Local? Afar?
Were they free? Could they help?

Again, pondering.
In the lounge - scurrying - I grabbed the phone book and phone.
Flipping pages, head spinning, frantically searching.
The number – as plain as day.
Dialling, nervous, teary-eyed, embarrassed, usually afraid, but...
Not today though.

“Hello, how can I help?”
I laughed, first time in a long time. “In every way possible” I responded.
“Come down”
I left the house fast, usually shuffling.
Not today though.

Afternoon, beaming
I talked, laughed, cried, shivering and shaking.
I learned I had choices, options, support.
There were others like me!
Afar and local.
They could help me. They were free.

Home quickly to pack, take whatever was important.
Only two things came to mind, the child and my dignity.
We left, quietly. Not sure why. House was empty. Habit?

Sunset, settling
Found the house. Barely even noticeable
Quiet little suburb.
I knocked, the door opened.
An instant smile, a hug. I responded in kind.
We just met. Odd. But it felt right.

Women. Children. Little rooms. All different, but sadly, all similar.
Shared experiences, shared lives.

                    I did think of you.
                                What were you feeling?
                                What were you thinking?
                                How were you impacted?
                    Stop! No more! I had always put you first.
Not today though.

Dusk, resting
Into the night, more talking, more learning.
I made a plan. It would be different.
Choices + options + support = new outcome.
Tomorrow, the day after, week, month, year.
Never the same.
I rested, deep sleep, first time in a long time.

Dawn, refresh
Dawn, the darkest hour. Ironic. It started in darkness.
Sunrise, I arrive at work, happy.
Afternoon, answering questions, listening and guiding.
Sunset, open arms, which were well received.
Dusk, offering choices, options, support.
In the past, alone, afraid, voiceless.
Not today though.