Tamed, Ashamed

I said it wrong. I wrote it wrong. I did it wrong. And I’m sorry. I picked the scab and it bled.

I should have left the door open. I should have left a way for you to come back. That would have been the kind thing to do for you. I tried. Yet you thwarted every attempt. When I reached out to you, you bit my hand.

The shame. The shame.

You said we’d always be friends. That was before your new friends whipped you into shape. They put a bit in your mouth and pulled you this way and that until you were totally under their control.

You said you were happy with them, until you had no one left but them. Isolated, you sent me a message to say they had broken you. You sent me a message to say you wished you were in those French fields again, running for joy, running wild, running free.


The shame of it. The shame of it.

I wanted to see you race again. I thought I was cutting you free, but I only succeeded in wounding you further.

You felt cornered, so you turned on me. I walked away, leaving you to lick your wounds, a festering mess.

I’ve done what you wanted. I’ve stayed away. I look back and wonder why we were friends. Because you had lied, you had cheated and you envied my freedom. You envied my lack of shame and you hated me for it.

You were the one who slammed shut the door, afraid of loving yourself and afraid of being loved by someone as free as me.

You allowed that poison to sink into the welt – the leg where there was no stab wound. You told me he had stabbed you. But there was no he. There was no rapist lurking in the alleyway. There were only the men you wished to take to bed. Those rolls in the hay did not satisfy.

With flared nostrils and feet scuffing the ground, you bolted.

They tamed you. Domesticated you. Took you into their fold. They brought you in for selective breeding. Docile horses raise docile foals who grow to be docile horses who raise docile foals.

I remain feral. Unashamed, apologetic and free.


I wish I’d left the door open for you to return. I wish I’d applied salve to your wounds and helped you break free. I wish I could have seen past the snarls and the bites and the fury.

But I am human. And you are not the man I met.


About catherinehume

Catherine Hume: Writer, social care worker and a liver of a life less ordinary.
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