For forty years she had endured
For this had been her constant state
Subjugation her present fate
A life without
A life without her dignity
Without expression of her own unique identity
Independence a foreign state
Voice stolen
Half living
Flickering in the shadows
A life without a cause
With a history steeped in years of indoctrinating tradition
Conditioned to merely obey
The role of a woman
Of duty.
At home.
To stay.

There is no end to her husband’s torment
Her lord and master’s shrieking from his majestic throne
And it is from his threadbare and decrepit armchair
One imbued it seems with mystic properties
Emanating dread and fear
For there — the alpha dog sits
With all his arrogance on show.

And so her treatment continues
Oblivious of what’s right
An unequivocal dismissal
Made worse by an unfailing maniacal suspicion
An underlying contempt
Of someone that is not equal
A culture past, that expected submission
A constant demand to justify her inferior position
Ignoring the world outside
One that has moved on
Grasping to a past
A made up fantasy
A fictitious memory

She shakes her head in sorrow and grief
And heavily she sobs
She shudders
Hands taunt in supplication
Reaching upwards
Following a path repeated a hundred times before
Pleading to the heavens for answers
“Why has this been my fate?”
And then a thought
Unbidden… enters…
And does not leave.
“No. No more.”

For now her daughter has fully grown
Safely, forging her own path
Free to explore
Able to make mistakes and missteps her own
Leaving our forlorn protagonist so full of pride
But also so so achingly alone.
Alone to face her nightmares
One that lasts from dawn to dusk
Every waking hour brings acknowledgement
A way of life
Repeating endlessly
No escape.
“No. No more.”

Emboldened by her meek displays
Again he asserts
Again, a refusal of any permission
To simply allow her to wander outdoors alone
“A woman’s place is at home!”
But inside, coalesces a thought
Getting stronger and more certain.
“No. No more!”
A chasm to cross in darkness
One that she had to take alone
Summoning up reserves of strength
That she did not ever know
To renounce her life with her tormentor
To leave her family home
And all her worldly possessions
And their memories of a lifetime ago
To a cold and foreign Australian court
For a simple piece of paper
A stamped piece of officialdom
To file for her divorce.
“Yes. No more.”

So hurriedly with bags packed and nowhere else to go
To her daughter’s did she flee
Her life now perched in limbo
Dependent on a son-in-law indifferent to her cause
An impatience plain to see
Mark his face with troubled countenance
For her untimely imposition
That’s upset the tranquility of her new sanctuary
His home
“How long will your mother be here?” he whispers
“I understand, but I never did agree.”
“I know she is your mother…”
“This long? Really?”
“I have reasonable limits on my charity!”

But even away from home she felt constrained
For her journey was not yet complete
For in the eyes of her religion
She was not yet free
Her angry, ex-husband could justify
That he could lay claim on her
That it was his right
That sanctioned abuse could continue
For in his eyes he still owned her
To do so as he desired.
“But no. No more.”

The next step was the hardest
A painstaking and disagreeable process
That incredulously caused more terror
By putting her in a room again with her tyrant
Treated as a third party
An object for those far brighter
Who knew better
To seal her destiny.

And though she nearly did break
Give up
Somehow, somehow
Her quiet voice
Remained firm
Did carry
And her case was finally made
Though it took twelve months for the Imans to grudgingly agree
What was painfully obvious for all to see
That there was no room for reconciliation
Love and duty no more than a fallacy
That the intervention order was real
That finally in God’s eye
She. was. free.

Surviving now on an old aged pension
Scrimping and scraping at the edges of modern society
She cannot afford modest housing
A future uncertain has she.
But it is a life that is now oh so different
To help others who face the same perilous journey
To help provide safe passage
To be their shining beacon
Against a darkening landscape
That threatens to stop the faint hearted
From withdrawing from their future
To succumbing
To their perilous fate.

This wonderful woman of the ages
Has found an inner peace
Though fate has made her journey long and arduous
That finally she feels so unfettered
That finally she feels so free.

Oh! Our heroine!
Our inspiration!
Oh gaze upon her now
Our beautiful, independent woman
For her voice has finally been found
As laughter lines now crease her aged face.
As she shares delightful, playful stories with her friends
To break bread
To live what is left of life to its fullest
To battle for her causes
To stand proud and with dignity
And now with her own identity restored
It is time perhaps
For her
To give a little nudge
To what will be her fate.

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