|© 1997, 2000||
A few years back I read an article in the local paper. It was a short article about a woman who had killed her husband and buried him in the back yard under the doghouse. She claimed that the murder was the long-term result of abuse and battering.
At first I thought ok another woman claiming abuse was the justification of her actions. She was innocent as the murder was in self-defense. More of the woman is always right thing. But, over the next few days, I sat back and tried to see another side of the story. Her side. The song is the result of those ruminations.
The details of the song are not totally correct. As more stories came out I became aware of the inaccuracies. I decided to leave them intact and let the song stand for a figurative not literal person.
The woman pleaded no-contest and was sentenced. She is still, after many years, in prison. Ironically, the trial did vindicate her. She was very much abused in the relationship with her husband. The Judge, jury, and lawyers all agreed she should be free. But the law had a different desire. Due to complex legal details she received a stiff legal sentence.
In the end we decided that she should be beat some more. Some day I hope she finds compasion and forgiveness.
She stares down the hallway,
To the room where he lay sleeping.
She puts her fingers to her lips, her shoulders, and her hips
Feels the bruises and the bleeding.
She sees the flash and fall
Of every hand and fist and object.
She feels the fingers around her throat,
Her body begins to float,
Like its someone else's body.
And she don't know how it got this way
He beat her on their very first date
Her Momma turned to her and said
'You better quit him now or
One of you gonna end up dead'
She went back to him and married him
And her whole life just fell to pieces.
She's walking down the hallway.
But she don't know how she's moving.
The walls seem so far away
She moves on someone else's legs
Floating down the hallway.
She sees the hand open the kitchen drawer.
Move past the knives and that thing that cuts the pizza.
She sees a hand holding a gun
She is not sure what's going to come -
It's like a scene from a movie.
And she tries to think back on better times
It couldn't always 'been this bad
She tries to think back on her parent's house
And all the fights between her Mom and Dad.
They came and took her kids away
And she cries, she cries, she cries,
She just misses her children.
She's standing in the doorway
Sees the blankets slowly rise and fall
She moves into the room
Closer to her doom
She is sure he'll rise up and kill her
She sees the gun pointing at the bed
She sees the fingers pull the trigger
The blankets pucker up and fall
The blood it begins to flow
She's sure someone has heard her
And the noise it seems so loud
Inside her brain is screaming
She's sure he'll wake up and beat her bad
Mad because she broke his dreaming
She sits on the edge of the bed
And waits for folks to come knocking
She drags him down the hallway
Out into the backyard
She digs a hole and puts him in
She'll say he left she's not sure where he's been
You know he's always going somewhere
She lays down and falls asleep
And then she starts a dreaming
The seed she planted grows into a tree
Spreading out into her dreams
The branches rise to beat her
She's not ready for the men who'll come
And condemn her for what she has done
She's not ready for the neighbors who'll say
'We told you so - you should have run away'
She's not ready for her Mom to say
'I told you so, Lord knows, I told you so'
She sees the people knocking at the door
The police are here to see her
They got some papers in their hand
They tell her where she can stand
They're here to do some digging
The pull the body from the ground
They're quiet, looking at her
They put the cuffs upon her wrists
Take her out to the car
It's time for that trip downtown
And so few can understand
What it means to be held captive by a man
She looks at the faces going by
She knows they are all wondering why
Some'll understand and forgive her
Others just want to see her beat some more.