‘Wounded’ by Benjamin Solomon

‘Wounded’ by Benjamin Solomon

Wounded was inspired by domestic violence. It is one of the social issues that is truly not talked about as much. Most women shy away from talking about it because of fear, or some sort of dependent love, which, in itself, is unhealthy. But, unlike other artistic expressions of domestic violence, I chose to portray it in the way that it really is – in most cases of domestic assault, as in Wounded, the women hardly break away from that unhealthy bond, which is where help needs to be provided.

The pestle is a very common African kitchen tool, and women in the rural areas who are unable to use it are usually castigated. The pestle symbolises strength, and proves to me that even the strongest women may still fall victim to a violent partner, without being able to rise again.

I drew much of my inspiration from the traditional African setting where a man is seen to have ultimate power over the ‘much inferior’ woman, so that violence within the home becomes his right. Hence, I chose to go traditional when taking the pictures. Her dressing symbolises innocence, but we still end up seeing that she’s happy nonetheless, which to me, is sort of a superpower that women possess; they’re able to smile through their pain, through their problems, something that I personally appreciate about the women around me.

– Benjamin Solomon



At midnight she awakens,

Her heart still sore from the thought of his words,

That punched holes in her core,

Like a fist through drywall.

Layer by layer,

Her self-worth eroded,

By the lash of his whip,

Her body greeting the cold marble.


Her bones are icy,

Her back tattooed with welts,

A love tainted by flays

of words and of belts.

She can only hope to Heaven,

Not that her wounds are cured,

Rather, that his sins are forgiven.


And is that what love really is?

Noon strikes, so does his hand,

Carving lesions into her back,

Her form laced with blood.

And in that moment,

She swallows a sword,

Fine china shattered across the floor,

Gore mixed with sweat.

Constantly shuffling between life and death.

But maybe she’s already dead,

Drowned in a pool of melancholy,

Not revived, not revivable.



For she is an amazon,

Bamboo to his storm,

Proving too tough to break.

A luminous beauty,

Battered with scars.

She wears her sorrow like a velvet scarf,

And his hands around her neck like crystal pearls.

Her pestle is her strength,

In her breasts she cradles life,

Life too pure to see.



Might she rise again,

Is her question to ask,

Her choice to make.

Still broken, she attempts to salvage

A romance once real,

Now chocked out by vehemence.

Piece by piece,

She picks her bruises off the ground,

And onto her shadow.

Still, he re-bruises her bruises,

And stirs up her anguish.



Her tears couldn’t heal

The burn she felt on her skin,

The throbbing in her head,

Nor the ache in her soul.

For she was no longer sad,

She was numb,

And in that state she knew,

She had crossed ruin beyond repair.




She must rise above the darkness,

For she knows for sure,

That she cannot fix anyone,

not until she fixes herself.

Yet here she is,

Trapped in a box,

Far from utopia, yet far from him,

Fighting to swallow all of her chances,

Before he rouses at dawn

Where his palm once again,

Meets her face.


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