In a ruined temple

I offered my heart. as small

As an infant’s fist


I held my tongue when

Faced with your authority

Defenseless and scared


I truly believed

In time you would love me as

I needed to be


As a daughter not

As a surrogate to my

Very own mother


Was I born broken

Or did the light displace a

Structural darkness?


I recall your hands

Peeling wool from a flock-less

Sheep to hide your sin


Grinding bone so that

Crippled I would never walk

On my own again


It was your black veins

Spiraling around my throat

To silence the screams


Never the monster

I supposed myself to be

Now a willing stray


What have I become?

An unchecked antihero

Denouncing all love


A dragon-scaled waif

Patiently suicidal

Tending Gehenna



Windows black as a night sky unpinned

Eyes darker still, mouth a well, an

Open-mouthed ossuary, in my soul the

Bones of a dead child turning tricks at

A critical deficit. I am a little more broken

Than I thought I would be, in the end a

Savior unsaleable, ophidian these neural

Pathways exiled by repeated exposure

To wicked  trees, I opened my eyes only to

Blink you were there father remember?


(I read this book recently on child abuse and it really got me apparently.)


21 thoughts on “2 Poems (Gehenna and Well) *warning deals with abuse*

  1. “you were placed on a slave block and the unreal bought you.” That’s the beginning of the poem Gehenna made me think of (by Hafiz). Glad you have words as your allies.

    1. It tears me up inside that other people can relate it shouldn’t happen, that it is a common experience kills me inside. I hate people suffering worse than my own suffering. As a kid I went to a babysitter and based on her children’s behavior and my experience I am sure they were sexually abused, the young son was 5 and hyper-sexual the knowledge he had about sex was beyond just general info (my own five year old has not actually asked about sex really, a little about babies but not much yet so looking back what he knew is even more suspicious), the 3 year old girl on the other hand was always hiding under the bed and just scared and timid, I know I was there and I remember them but I have totally repressed the experience I remember myself being abused but whatever I saw in that house I can’t bare because it involved other children, reading the book has been tough because I was also abused by my father and I can relate to so much of what she says. It does end happily and that gives me hope but its really brought up some memories.

      1. What always makes me said is that I stop and I say “What happened to me hurts like hell”, remembering other stories I saw and heard and I think “How big does it hurt them then, when my small things pain is unbearable?”

      2. I don’t really understand the scale of what I went through, how terrible it might seem to another person or how my experience might be similar or different from the typical. But I do know you can’t really compare trauma, its all terrible and no one should have to suffer. My abuse had effected me a lot much more than I want to admit. I want to be healthy but the trauma is like a poison that just keeps releasing into my blood. I hate more my reaction to it, in a way the self-loathing after a trauma is horrible

  2. dang. hard stuff for sure….great allusions up front, the heart as a small fist…the surrogate for the mom…ugh…what is makes us become, the unsung anti-hero…it should not happen…i work with kids who have been there…its hard to walk those halls with them at times…

  3. very powerful writing, potent portrayal of the betrayal that is child abuse. It is a sad thing that there are those so wrought with hatred and fear that they will strike out at others lees strong!

  4. Amazing – both poems are very, very powerful and will haunt me I think. The like button is playing up, so if I can’t press it after I post this comment, you know I liked the poems, more than liked them actually! Two of your best I think! 🙂

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