You think we don’t know
what happens in the darkest hours;
that somehow slumber blankets,
plunges us into oblivion….

The same slamming of fists
that awakens you, alerts,
drags us from deepest sleep,
thrust into the violence

No amount of denial shields
from the trail of bloody droplets,
witnessing his arm on your throat,
threatening….always threatening…

we have risen to burning rubber
watched with the same submissive spite,
powerless to call for help, muted by
the futility of endless abuse, bystanders

cowered by a caregiver’s venomous spittle,
estranged witnesses,  marginalized,
held hostage by the choking reality
of an offending appendage.

(Image:  Pinterest)



Wayward Daughter

Back and forth I travel searching
for her – retrace every bend, curve,
detour – back to the water, the sand,
the beach where I lost her; haunted by

those velvet brown eyes – bedroom eyes,
they told her, men with greedy loins,
calculating – I lost her to the lure of
alcohol, to the pounding beat of drums,

in those smoky corners so far removed
from the purity of her dreams….
it’s been an arduous journey, some days
so lost in the daze of forgetting; I cycle

back, memories of manhood exposed,
egos craving stroking, how she learned
what men wanted, learned to numb
the disappointment with fast-talk

and all-nighters, suppressed tears,
discovered that words hold no promise,
and water is deep, and going within
is a dark, foreboding place, and worth

is shrouded by the shame of discovering
that even the father she adored was not
as she’d thought, and that this primal
urge she felt for mating was a trap

designed to eradicate her beauty, not
enhance it…I need to find her, hold
her afloat in sacred waters, help her feel
the healing light of a thousand women’s

hearts all bleeding as one, all warped
by the same convoluted messages
about womanhood – that lust is sinful
and copulation a man’s domain, and

that in order to be espoused she must
forego her own nature, tame the wild,
settle for loss of control…but as much
as I travel these lonely roads, I cannot

find her, the traces of her innocence
washed away by the tides, lines now
on my aged face…if you see her, please
hold her close, protect her from beasts,

hold her until the beauty of her being
is a solid knowing, and the shame has
been vanquished; and that being a vessel
for man’s release is not her only purpose.



Secret Keepers

They always take the back roads,
virginal snow-covered lanes
lined with trees: pastoral views

Unmarked routes, out of sight,
use the innocence of landscape
to blot out their dark intentions

Pristine picture perfect scenes
lull the unsuspecting; breath-
taking vistas; secret keepers

The roads still exist in my dreams
the trees like soldiers, stiff and stark
stripped of their magical allure, now

guard the memories, painted red
with the loss of purity; I had not
guessed the danger of woods

Child mind incapable of conceiving
what wolves roamed in nature
the blood of their victims crimson

stains forever etched in silhouette
the shrillness of their screams
now silent echoes in the night.

(Image:  www.flickr.com)

Innocence Replaced

Rebellious adolescent
covets freedom, schemes
two dimensional; needs

attending to; temporarily
dislodged, toying with sanity,
her perspective slippery

she is traversing violation’s
den; virginal door smashed,
internally shattered, broken

pieces distorting charmed
impressions – she is away;
no longer safe, stalked in

crowds; spikes her hair, heels,
nails; polishes the art of rape:
feminine wiles dominating the

hungry beast, fists clenched
she consumes her lover;
seizes his neck; unshackled

sexuality praying on the timid –
a ravaged sense of feminism;
radar set on revenge; she prowls.

(Image from: best-tiger.blogspot.com)


Remember when we were lovers,
and would stay all out night –
me full of bravado,
you coaxing one more drink?

I’d awaken the next morning
head thick and fogged
and you’d reassure me
that the car was in the driveway
safe and sound
and want to do it all over again
but I’d have to work,
so you would sulk all day
until you could sweep me up once more.

“You’re going to burn out before you’re 25”
a co-worker told me
and you just laughed and said:
“Not me, I’m invincible!”
and we’d dance the night away
never knowing where we’d end up
or how we got there.

When did it change for us?
When did you abandon me?

Was it the day we lost four friends-
all dead in a fiery crash –
a tragic combination of speed and alcohol
that fateful long weekend?

Or was it that time
you let me get into that car
told me I’d be okay
flattered me that a man so handsome
would want my company
then left me alone
to be raped?

Maybe it was me that
just couldn’t look you in the face anymore
deceived by your recklessness,
seized by the recognition
of your self-serving ways.

Time and obligations
have made me forget you,
yet every once in awhile,
I dream of those days
when we watched the sun come up
then sleepless and still buzzed
faced the world – our oyster –
as if nothing could tear us down.