Sarah was being controlled by John in a horrible way.  Not only was he counting the cigarettes and butts, he was also putting marks on them.  When Sarah did smoke in front of him, he would criticize her, saying that she didn’t inhale it deep enough or didn’t take enough drags.   Cigarettes had become his master, his god; poor Sarah was an unwilling sacrifice.

She couldn’t tell anyone what was happening. She wanted to share her burden, but it was so crazy, she didn’t know if anyone would believe her. Sarah told some of what was going on to her sister, but she confronted John, who spent the rest of the night screaming and cursing at Sarah.  Her heart wasn’t just broken; it had been beaten to a pulp and then strained. 

She felt as if she would lose her mind if she couldn’t release some of what was inside, so she picked up a small journal and a pen.  The journal was one in which she would write down her favorite poems by Shakespeare, Poe, Dickinson, and and others. John hated poetry with a passion,  so whatever she wrote would be safe there.  With a shaking hand she wrote:

I’m a prisoner of love,
Locked in this union
Ordained from above,
Like a slave I must obey
My master’s wishes,
Both night and day.

One thing i know,
Thank God, is true,
I won’t be forever
Bound to you;
The chains that bind
Will one day break
When, at last, my
Final breath I take.

Another one of her early poems mentioned the monster for the first time. The monster was what she called what was going on with her husband.  It was indeed like a monster had a firm grip on her life.

Horror, Terror,
Here he comes again,
The fire-breathing monster,
Smoke billowing from his nose.
This monster feeds on human flesh,
Inflicting pain on others brings him joy;
I am his helpless victim,
There is no escape.

Fear, confusion,
This nightmare never ceases,
Not only in the nighttime,
But when the sun shines, too.
I do not see the sun,
Only the clouds of smoke,
And the fire-breathing monster-
There is no escape.

Comment from other blog:

Fred Stroud8 April 2016 12:29 pm #

I remember some earlier poems you wrote and they were so powerful I thought they could have been personal. I see that I was correct. You are not alone in finding writing as an outlet to hurt and pain. Although under different circumstances, I started writing for similar reasons. Your poems are brilliant. For whatever reason keep writing. And I hope that the last line of the above poem is not the ending!