Wear the color purple in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness throughout the month of October.

 

October 9, 2014

October is domestic violence awareness month. Each year the Durham Crisis Response Center hosts a vigil remembering the women, children, and men who have died in North Carolina in the last year in domestic violence incidents. Each year there are too many names, too many beloved children of God, that we have to remember in this way. This poem is my response to the first of these vigils I attended. 

                                                               

                                                                 She Read the Names Quickly

                                                                   She read the names quickly
                                                          Otherwise it would have taken too long
                                                           It’s only been nine and a half months
                                                           But she had to read the names quickly

                                                         Candles lit to stand against the darkness
                                                         Was the Wind trying to blow them out?
                                                            Or was It fanning that small flame
                                                                trying to set the world ablaze?
                                                                  Maybe not the whole world:
                                                                            Just my world.

                                                      If hope is in the remembering, in the naming,
                                                in not letting their deaths go unnoticed, go in vain,
                                                                         How does it grow?
                                                           How does hope become substance?

                                                          Smiley Ebony and unborn Elijah never
                                     stop being remembered by those, especially Effie, who loved them.
                                               And yet more names have been added every year since
                                                    their deaths, more names have been added every
                                                          year since their deaths, more names have
                                                               been added every year since their
                                                                     deaths, more names have
                                                                           been added every
                                                                             year since their
                                                                                  deaths…
                                                                   She read the names quickly

                                                                      Silence is the darkness
                                                                 that drowns the light of hope.
                                                                      Silence is the darkness
                                                     in the places that claim to proclaim the light.
                                                                      Silence is the darkness
                                                                             in the church.
                                                Will the Wind blow the light to consume the silence?
                                                             Will the proclamation, the naming,
                                                     the remembering, the reading of the names
                                                                     shout the darkness out?

                                                                   She read the names quickly

 

Instead of one vigil this year, churches around Durham will be hosting vigils every Sunday for the month of October. If you are interested in attending any of these events, please email me regarding times and locations of the services. Also, consider attending the upcoming photography exhibit created by a Duke Alumna on women who have experienced gender violence.

By Bruce Puckett, Director of Community Ministry, Duke Chapel

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