On things that should not be… (thoughts and a poem)


First, read this article: http://therumpus.net/2012/08/explicit-violence/

Once you have read it then the rest of this post will be even clearer… 

This: “I didn’t tell anyone. In fact, later that year? I went home with him again. On purpose.” was the part that for the first time in nine years opened the “I’m not alone” door in my soul… it also made me realize that my nine years of NOT telling my story have robbed so many people of that moment they may have needed. I *still* don’t feel strong enough to speak about it from a stage, but I will whisper it like right now… hope whoever needs to know will get this message in a bottle. ♥


she only has one infant memory of it
a shout
walk away
parental disagreement
diaper baby fear and tears

but then came the step
and the witnessed sex
then later
more shouting
sometimes with bruises
or hits with no leftovers
mother’s issues seen

the little boy
on the playground
hits her arm
runs away
“It’s because he likes you”

she wonders about the brokenness
of boys who show love with fists
who don’t know how to be kind
the deficiency of heart space
when it can’t softly touch
to show affection

why are we this way?
she thinks
why can’t we just love?
instead of boys who become men
who’s throats close at the truth of it
somehow crush
is a better violence 

it stays this way
boys hitting and running
men hitting and running
but she is grown now
runs too
flight over fight
not wanting
the badges of honor
her mother bore

once bitten
twice shy
is for fools she said
once hit
is once gone
out alone rather than stay
rather than be broken
with the boy-man
who still can only love with his fist

she does not take discipline
does not want a father figure who hits
daddy issues aside
she has her pride

but some harm other ways
start out soft and beautiful
like she feels it should be
so she trusts
but then retreats
or tries to
only to be forced
to feel a different kind of violence
a word she still finds hard to say:

“date rape”
“acquaintance rape”
words that mean
her mind was not allowed
to change at the last moment
that arms and legs were held down

she blames herself of course
we all do when it is so close to us
what did she wear?
where did she go?
how much did she have to drink?
how far did she let it go?
why didn’t she scream?

why didn’t she?
somehow experience
did not push down naivete
“this can’t be happening”
“he wouldn’t really”

Now she looks back
at all those boys
those men
who loved with fists
echoes their error in her heart
choosing the wrong ones
over and over
quietly pushing her pain further

she thinks about it all
how normal it seems
to be this way
she came of age like this
up and through male violence*

decades into adulthood
she wonders
how do we change?
there must be some way
to stop this


“she came of age like this / up and through male violence” taken directly from the article


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