"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chair Propped Against Neutrality

Creative Commons ~ Erik Alfredo

She listened to the secrets
plastered inside the walls
as if she was merely
a chair propped against neutrality.

She whispered, “It was not my fault,”
to the demons stirring her memory,
yet they continued to hiss and accuse.

Ungreased hinges and creaking floor
had announced evil’s passage
each night of a thousand hours,
but she had buried her head
in the feather down of pretense’s pillow
and spoke not a word.

She excused her husband’s nightly visits
to his step daughter’s bed as merely comfort
for a child who cried out from nightmares.

There were no questions when the sun rose,
only deaf ears and blind eyes.
Breakfast was served with toast and silence.

There came the day when Pandora’s lid
was torn away by a school room confession.
Her daughter exposed the truth of nighttime lies
and denial became no defense.

The secrets that now whisper are those
of another girl child whose lips can never speak.
She took her pain into the grave and left a note
that simply said, “Mother go to hell.”

I understand the pain of childhood sexual abuse too well. I was a victim.
This poem is not about my experience, but painfully this scenario
has happened too often. I have included some resources for help for 
those who are or have been victims.


Ben Ditty said...

There's a powerful energy in this one held throughout the poem.

Jinksy said...

Goodness - that's a tough one!

Sue Judd said...

This is a terrible story that needs to keep being told....in the hope that some will take heed of the message. I found your poem very powerful in an understated way.

Daydreamertoo said...

It is a recurring nightmare for so many children. I cannot believe the mother's who refuse to see it or, to protect their child either.
This doesn't pull any punches and makes so many valid statements. There is no crime worse than stealing a child's trust or robbing them of their innocence.
Deep, and powerful Susie.

hedgewitch said...

So sad that this is so true for so many. Powerfully written, Susie.

Heaven said...

This hit me Susie ~ I can't imagine why the mother will allow it nor remain neutral like a chair ~

Mary said...

Susie, this is a strong write. "She" should NOT have excused those 'nightly visits.' I just don't get why these women don't speak up / go look instead of turning a blind eye. The ending stuns....but is realistic. Something like this is hard to overcome.

Brian Miller said...

crap...that was like taking a bat to the stomach...vivid and all too real...i think sometimes we dont see it because we dont want to believe it could happen to us or in our house as well...working with kids in the past i saw far too much of it....dang...susie, hard real piece...

Joan Barrett Roberts said...

Susie, WOW -- such a powerful poem and told in story form making it even more powerful to read. One feels like I am right in the middle of your story! Brings forth immediate feelings -- excellent and important work Susie! Thank you writing this highly motivating piece! Joan

Anna Montgomery said...

Oh, this made me ill, I knew where it was going from the start. Potent and necessary work. You have my empathy and understanding.

Kim Nelson said...

Serious and strong, this piece highlights the party that often escapes responsibility. Well done, Susie.

Len Williams~ Carver said...

the tears are pouring down my cheeks, I have read this twice and I can't help but identify. It is not easy to admit that we were sexually abused, or that it wasn't stopped. such a powerful piece Susie and I am so glad you are able to write about it, each time we tell our story or another's it is a healing time for us. thankl you for carrying on the awareness.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wow! You have drawn the scene to perfection - the "feather down of pretense's pillow", the breakfast served "with toast and silence"......and the terribly sad ending, with a girl child's final note. Whew! Strongly and powerfully written.

PattiKen said...

Oh, this is such a painful piece. I wish it were mere poetic license, but sadly, horribly, it's the reality of too many kids. Powerful, and heartbreaking, Susie.

anthonynorth said...

The pain and anguish in this hold great power. So tragic.

ayala said...

Susie, this is heartbreaking. So sad.

mrs mediocrity said...

This is powerful and painful. It seems so hard to believe that a mother would look the other way, but I know it happens.

A very tough subject in a well-penned poem.

Tigerbrite said...

I cannot imagine the pain of violation and disgust. I have not been a victim but this describes the ordeal so vividly.

Raven said...

You are right. It happens too often. This is really well done.

darkangelwrites said...

Holy Crap! I mean that in a good way.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

A painful story well told. We do need to open Pandora's Box...

Anna :o]

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