In Her Shoes

This is the signature poem that I wrote for The Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport Connecticut.

Center for Family Justice


In Her Shoes

Her eye is black, her nose bleeds red,
Yet she still has to sleep with him, in the same bed.

He says he’s sorry, one more time,
She numbs her pain, with a glass of wine.

Her children fight, and swear, and yell,
Her life becomes a living hell.

She knows the reason this is so,
Unfortunately, it’s all they know.

If you had the option to choose,
Would you walk a mile in her shoes?

Whatever goes wrong, she gets the blame,
It’s all a part of his controlling game.

He tells her she’s old, and stupid, and fat,
As he threatens her with a baseball bat.

The police arrive, once again…
This is visit number ten.

He tells them yet another lie,
Will she ever get out, or will she die?

If you had the option to choose,
Would you walk a mile in her shoes?

He says the law’s not on her side,
And if she leaves he won’t provide.

He monitors her every move,
Her whereabouts she has to prove.

With any man that she may meet,
He accuses her of being a cheat.

She can’t go out, he takes her phone,
She lives in fear of the unknown.

If you had the option to choose,
Would you walk a mile in her shoes?

In a fetal position, on her bed,
She wonders if she’s better off dead.

She feels so alone, she feels trapped,
All of her energy and resources have been tapped.

The things he says don’t hold much merit,
But they’re enough to break her spirit.

She works so hard to try to hide,
The stress and hurt she feels inside.

If you had the option to choose,
Would you walk a mile in her shoes?

What is the reason that makes her stay?
The children, money…she sees no way?

It’s all too much to untwist,
The things that have happened, too many to list.

Physical, verbal, emotional trauma,
A life filled with too much drama.

The things she’s been through make it hard to cope,
She feels like there is no hope.

If you had the option to choose,
Would you walk a mile in her shoes?

She loses perspective so easily,
To the things he says, she’ll comply and agree.

He says the children, he’s going to keep,
If she ever leaves. This makes her weep.

She’s convinced there’s nowhere to turn,
Unaware of all she can learn.

She can begin to heal with the decision to enter,
The doors of The Family Justice Center.

So TODAY, you have the option to choose,
Do you have the strength to walk a mile in her shoes?


by Erin Cooper Reed

19,000 Reasons

This is a poem that I wrote for a domestic violence organization called 19,000 feet. This organization raised money for victims of domestic violence by taking donations and climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro which is 19,000 feet.

At the top of the mountain they read intentions that were submitted on behalf of countless victims of domestic violence.

A beautiful story, gesture and organization.

I am proud to be a part of their cause and to have created their signature poem.


19,000 Reasons

There are 19,000 reasons,

To climb 19,000 feet.

To end the cycle of violence,

What children live,

They will repeat.


And even if you’ve never,

Given a thought to it before,

There are many battered women,

With no strength

To walk out the door.


And if you heard their stories,

You would not believe,

How anyone

Wouldn’t want to help them,

Find resources,

So they’d leave.


And if you’ve ever used the expression,

“For the grace of God go I”

You’d understand why we’re climbing,

19,000 feet into the sky.


There are more than 19,000 reasons,

To give with all your heart.

So many millions of women,

Who need hope,

And a fresh start.


by Erin Cooper Reed

Let Love Choose You

In Life we believe,

We can choose who to love.

Convincing ourselves,

It’s a gift from above.

We know it takes work,

For a relationship to grow.

Yet, we’re missing an obvious

Piece of life’s flow.

The best relationships

Aren’t built on struggle and pain.

Compromising ourselves,

With nothing to gain.

The truth of the matter,

It’s easy to do.

When you don’t choose who you love,

You let love choose you.


by Erin Cooper Reed