Through My Daughter’s Eyes by Sandra Laraine Coleman

Sometimes the world can be a colorless, bland amorphous wreckage manipulating itself into collapsible ruins and discarded carnage that lived long past usefulness. Sometimes the world can be lively, loving, warm, welcoming like the yearning in a lover’s tender embrace we find ourselves never wanting to live without. This describes motherhood in an abusive relationship with your daughter’s father when life becomes an empty offering of neglect, misery and sorrow. Yes, your daughter’s father, whom you’ve loved since sixteen because that’s what sixteen-year-old girls do. They fall in love with hopeful hormones rioting to test-taste waters of grown and living prepares pre-woman for the woman who will eventually conjugate and ornament life with vibrant fleshed fruit. Ah yes, it was love ripening in you, trajecting into and out of “him” and that adoration would have continued had it not been subjugated with fists. Then one day you realize that a woman/mother should never have her words choked from her throat, then rammed down again. You have become skilled at swallowing strangled sentences and absorbing blows. The repeated silencing of your words accompanies eyes blackened and puffy blind, busted lips throbbing the fluffy color of pain, bloody noses that are percolating facial sacrifices, bruises decorating your body like cheap misshapen tattoes, stinging slaps from hardened hands so large they consume your entire face with wanton wrath and afterwards the rape. You never know what will initiate his vulgar violent rages, all you know … this is no “living” for you or her.

Your daughter, whose eyes are big bright smiles amidst the screaming, yelling, tears and beatings that occasionally occur when you hold her. Your daughter who loves mommy and daddy always, but sometimes the words are too aggressive on her small ears and those dancing brown eyes are cloudy, dripping with tears. You look into her quieted gaze after the raging passes or daddy has left the cancerous scene and you begin the routine, your façade of pretending life is lovely again, but that only happens when daddy’s gone. You tire of fabricating and put yourself into her tiny perspective seeing what she sees, looking at life through her unprotected eyes. You wear your daughter’s lenses watching a mommy who is unhappy, bruised, battered, surrounded by air aching with sadness and a big strong father whose seven foot tall bullying breathes destruction and a cavernous distance. And then there’s you whose little arms, oversized heart and infantile protests are not enough to reach all their pain, you love them but not the blaring chaotic disfigured sound. You can’t see your daughter wanting to live in an environment like this and what you see through her eyes gives you the strength needed to leave for safety’s sake.

A year later you walk away from “abusive” leaving the rubble behind, determined to make a beautifully brilliant peaceful world that will return the dancing smile that lives deep in your daughters eyes. Ashe!



Sandra Laraine Coleman is a Mother, CSUDH Africana Studies Major, Self-Published Author, Poetess, Spoken Word Artist, Jewelry Designer, lover of creative living and refuser of any status that labels her “victim”. This mother has raised a strong powerful black woman who is basketballscholar-shipping her way through an HBCU. As an Africana Studies major Miss Coleman is Dean listing and learning all she can about the history, culture and literature of her beautiful Black diasporic people. As a self-published author she has written chap books and currently available on is a poetry book entitled “There Ain’t Nothin’ To Do But Breathe”, that is full of what Miss Coleman calls lyrical rhythms. As a jewelry designer she makes one-of-a-kind pieces using wire and ethnic beads. The Poetess/Spoken Word Artist in her is a familiar face and voice on the Los Angeles poetry scene and is passionately courageous in her creativity, writing to tell the truth that will save lives and promote the ultimate love. The love of self that reflects an inspiring adoration of our people and according to Miss Coleman, no matter how far we fall, there is always a poem, a short story, song extended like an extended hand to help the wounded rise up.  Ashe.

Contact Miss Coleman for more information, availability and jewelry.

7 thoughts on “Through My Daughter’s Eyes by Sandra Laraine Coleman”

  1. I had to read this episodically, jumping across lines until the whole picture came together and I could stand it enough to read it all the way through; it’s simply so powerful it’s nearly overwhelming. This is wildly moving!

  2. Thank you annielauren, it was a difficult write but even more difficult to live thru. I survived I know so I could help other women who may be dealing with a similar situation. I am grateful for poetry and the ability to put words on paper and watch them breathe. Nikki Skies, I absolutely love you!!!

    1. Sandra, I remember this story from the Inglewood Starbucks days. This is still so taboo to talk about especially with media providing this narrative of women as “tough/bitches”. Some don’t make it out. I pray your words were conversation somewhere and someone became inspired. That is our job and you’ve always done it well. The ancestors speak highly of you! I love you Sis!

  3. Nikki, I am deeply humbled and thankful that our ancestors are speaking highly of me, for in my journey all I want is for us to remember their struggle and honor their sacrifice for our existence. What a blessing it is to be able to speak “truth” without fear or shame. But it takes time to get to that point. Yes, I pray that dialogue has begun and will continue and thank you for providing the platform for that to happen!!!

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