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I Run, a Poem by Stephen House

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

I Run - Contemporary Poetry

i run

fear paralyses me

wait for the next time

watch each word i say

heart-rate quickens as HE gets home

trembling hard inside

pain envelopes me

bruised black all over

broken bones and skin

smashed around a way of life

body and mind in shock

shame blankets me

stay and not escape

unable to help myself

pathetic cowering nothing

accept what is just is

humiliation drowns me

lie to my family

hiding torment daily

feign happy in abyss of terror

too damaged to tell

desperation screams within

bus stop stranger smiles

cry and tell him my truth

note help contacts given to me

think about kind words

courage flows to the surface

wait for HIM to leave

call helpline to talk

remove myself from constant torture

finally i run


Stephen House is an award winning Australian playwright, poet and actor. He’s won two Awgie Awards (Australian Writer’s Guild) , Adelaide Fringe Award, Rhonda Jancovich Poetry Award for Social Justice, Goolwa Poetry Cup, Feast Short Story Prize and more. He’s been shortlisted for Lane Cove Literary Award, Overland’s Fair Australia Fiction Prize, Patrick White Playwright and Queensland Premier Drama Awards, Greenroom best actor Award and more. He’s received Australia Council literature residencies to Ireland and Canada, and an India Asialink. His chapbook “real and unreal” was published by ICOE Press Australia. He is published often and performs his work widely.


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