I Got Flowers Today

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I GOT FLOWERS TODAY

Dedicated to all battered women.
by Paulette Kelly
• • •
I got flowers today!
It wasn’t my birthday or any other special day;
We had our first argument last night; And he said a lot of cruel things that really hurt;
I know that he is sorry and didn’t mean to say the things he said;
Because he sent me flowers today.
• • •
I got flowers today!
It wasn’t our anniversary or any other special day;
Last night he threw me into a wall and then started choking me;
It seemed like a nightmare, but you wake up from nightmares to find they aren’t real.
• • •
I got flowers today!
And it wasn’t Valentine’s Day or any other special day;
Last night he beat me and threatened to kill me;
Make-up and long-sleeves didn’t hide the cuts and bruises this time;
I couldn’t go to work today because I didn’t want anyone to know-but I know he’s sorry;
Because he sent me flowers today.
• • •
I got flowers today!
And it wasn’t Mother’s Day or any other special day;
Last night he beat me again, and it was much worse than all of the other times;
If I leave him, what will I do? How will I take care of the kids? What about money?
I’m afraid of him, but I’m too scared and dependent to leave him! But he must be sorry;
Because he sent me flowers today.
• • •
I got flowers today…Today was a very special day—it was the day of my funeral;
Last night he finally killed me—I was beaten to death;
If only I would have gathered the courage and strength to leave him;
The women’s shelter could have helped me, but I didn’t ask for their help;
So I got flowers today…for the last time.
• • •

Copyright 1992 c by Paulette Kelly

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5 Responses to “I Got Flowers Today”

  1. Kate Says:

    Hey. Check out that victim blaming there at the end! Suddenly it’s HER fault he beat her to death? Fuck that. It’s not her fault. She didn’t die because she didn’t get help. She died because her husband beat her. End of story. It’s HIS fault, not her’s.

    Abuse is never the fault of the victims. It makes me sick to see victim blaming in what claims to be a site for recovery.

  2. Darlene McCue Says:

    We would like to use “I Got Flowers Today” and the picture for our Unity Day display this year. Please respond. This is very in your face which is what I’m looking for.

  3. Autumn Says:

    In some ways, I’d be remiss not to agree with Kate, although it is SO important for women who are abused to be consistently reminded that they are strong, capable of setting boundaries, and taking their lives back. This only comes with awareness, and it’s the only way to break the cycle. We need not be rendered powerless.

    I wish all families of women who have lost their lives to domestic abuse a peaceful Thanksgiving….

  4. Niki Says:

    I can’t find any word to describe my feelings about this poem. I’m not cryin…my heart’s doin this. My dad’s also an abusive man and this poem just fits my mom. I’ll post this on my tumblr blog, if you don’t mind. Thanks.


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