August 10, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments


Marcus Clemons, bilingual (Arabic/English) case manager at Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden, shared a poem (see below) inspired by his work with a survivor of domestic violence at the agency’s recent Small & Mighty zoom event introducing the team.

Marcus is creative in the work he does with survivors and considers himself a “partner on their journey towards well-being and security.”

Learn more about Marucs and the team.

View the recent zoom event.


The Secret of the Garden

I was told New York City can get cold

But the snow caked in the streets

Burn feet like hot springs

When you deal with the chills of your own home


Wandering, aimless like I stole somethin’

Wandering, in this pain I wish I had told someone

Wandering, I’m going insane can a dog get a bone or somethin’?

Wandering, enraged because I just don’t know nothin’


And as I was debating and contemplating the fate of my babies

Wondering if I was crazy

That I left them with that lady

But I knew if I had stayed then no one could save me


And if I can’t save me, how do I save them?

Who will be there to raise them?

It’s not enough to be at home and play dead

Put your mask on before your child’s otherwise you both remain dead


Bouncing around between places killing myself just to survive

And then came a day where I felt a rekindle of being alive

Someone that slowed these thoughts that helped me realize

The inherent strength of a thousand sons coursing inside


And even though hope shut its doors on me time and time again

It never felt elusive with the guidance of that special friend

She told me to keep knocking on that door even if my knuckles got red

And when I felt I couldn’t do it and I was at whit’s end


A call came through like angelic voices breaking through the clouds

Within the prison of abuse I was no longer bound

I finally felt I had choices like a lost child found

The barriers to living freely were no longer above, below, or around


No longer were hopes in vain but I finally had a plan

So listen to my secret in this garden

Before I was hidden under my mask of a man

But here, I rediscovered what I had forgotten


A new sense of self

Cashing in my inherent wealth

Listen, I’ve got a story to tell

Come to this secret garden that helped me find me and learn to be well

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