Poetry from Rape Survivors
These poems were sent to me from rape and sexual assault survivors.
The Pear Tree
Little girl, sleeping underneath the pear tree
In the shade, the lake winds lift your hair.
Pretty girl, motionless in the long grass of
Summertime, the sweet birds sing for you.
Timid girl, waking softly as the evening
Sun goes down, and for you paints the sky.
It's dark now, girl.
With moonlight comes the frost,
your bed now of dead leaves.
It's cold now, girl.
A lake of ice to swim,
The night-bird sings your song.
You're here now girl.
Underneath the pear tree.
Underneath the pear tree.
Goodnight tattered, moth-eaten Mr. Grizzly,
Scruffy, balding, but loyal with dull black eyes;
Her devoted threadbare soldier of safety,
Abandoned again; she won't be home tonight.
Left to guard the shadows cast in emptiness,
He stands, bedraggled reminder of times past,
And waits for innocence to find some way back.
Goodnight old fuzzy yellow-patchwork blanket
Large enough for warmth, small enough to carry.
She has found a new world in rich red satin.
Now warm another orphan, Feather, her cat.
The "cuddly-fluffy" feeling fading so fast,
Fight to keep the stitches that made her happy;
Perhaps someday, a wish granted, she'll return.
The water was ice and she missed her blanket
The darkness was thick and her teddy was gone
The world was cold gray when her body was found
Good morning blackness, today is her birthday
Good afternoon stillness, please read the inscription
Goodnight silence: "Here lies daughter. We loved her."
The vultures wait in the forbidden tree
Watching the shadow of El Diablo
His footprints in the sand disappear. She
Cursed by destitution returns by slow
Prayer whispered in anxious sleep. She too sings
Thank you God for this step I am alive.
The light dies in the desert, Juarez brings
The demons hunting. She asks Him to drive
Away her fear so she can face the night
Alone. Watched through midnight shades of ashes
She steals along the path holding hope in
Clenched fists and quick breath. The vultures take flight -
Fill silence with beating wings. He dashes
Forth and with her tears he commits his sin.
Enter the bent blossoms of summertime,
A nimble ballerina on their stalks,
They bow to swirling winds and flying locks,
A race to find courage in lemon thyme.
A crystalline waltz whirls through the meadow.
The sylphs' flowing gowns ease tepidity,
Resting in the grass content to see
The azure backdrop of the cloud still shows.
Exeunt breeze to welcome blustering gusts
Who dance with willows and laughter on wings
Of soaring sparrows and dandelion fluff.
The extras: bumblebees spread pollen dust
On flowers and petticoats and they sing
Until the fall; the earthen ground is rough.
And thus act two: dried leaves and hills of ants,
A soiled dress, clutching hands of branches snapped,
Ragged breath and flowing maple strength sapped
The beasts bear witness and the dark bird chants.
With muddy malice masked by underbrush
The gnomes march; percussionists, toppling trees,
howl through crumbling empires. The raptor sees
From battlements high above sorrow's rush.
The thicket with long arms holds their captive
Prone and tears mix with dust; murky water
Brings life to shoots of hops. Encircling vines
Stifle silent screams and the soul they give
To moss and roots. Now Hespera's daughter,
The last before the frost of nature's signs.
Where fires freeze, ice burns the snow white curtain
And ignites the third with slithering smoke,
Flickering tongues and coal black eyes that choke
Hope from fennel and give birth to certain
Doom. Over the shimmering wasteland crawl
The salamanders, twisted with rage and
Blind confusion under Nemesis' hand,
They seek redemption through flames and snowfall
And with crackling shadows, the air is thick.
As charred dreams scatter the blistered glacier
The serpents writhe beneath glowing embers;
They strike with fury and their poison quick
And cold smolders through perverted nature.
Numbness invades to chase the torched members.
Past the Phlegethon lies the fourth where rain
Soaked illusions wash through newborn gardens
To meet the Cocyus.. Clarity hardens
With the tide and upon the Styx all pain
Is gone; at the fork the Lethe chosen
And The Acheron ignored. Listless pools
Of emptiness reflect the waiting ghouls
As they ebb from dying rue. The frozen
Chaos melts and nymphs lead the way to dark
Waters; the sun fades into the ocean.
It is dusk and the arrival of spring
Marks the end and beneath the flood an ark,
Awaiting the players, grinds to motion.
Backstage for actors, the vessel will bring.
Poetry shared by Christine Schlumbrecht
Being a Child
Being a Child is not what it seems!
A world full of hopes,
A heart full of dreams.
The ice cream parlor, Where every one goes.
The little Secrets that no one knows!
Going to sleep a heart full of fear!
Wiping away the last little tear!
It's searching for love,
And no one's around.
And searching for help that can't be found.
It's going to sleep and wanting to die!
How much more can I cry?
It's closing you're eyes and wishing him gone.
It's minding your heart where it's been torn!
It's taking a bath to wash it way
Only to find it's here to stay!
It's wanting your mother to protect you at night.
It's wanting her arms to hold to tight!
Money and cokes and basketball cheers,
Spending the night a heart full of fears!
Laughing playing and having fun,
Where never a part of being young!
A world of lost hopes and shattered dreams
This child's life is not what it seems!
Today is my Birthday.
No ice cream or cake!
The smile I wear is forced and fake!
Don't want a birthday this year.
Eight years old
On this sad day.
Full of fear.
Outside in the yard sounds of laughter and play.
Why is everyone so happy on this hated day?
Inside the house, all alone
I only came in to answer the phone!
Too late to hide!
Daddy stumbles and finds his way inside.
Locking the door,
He throws me to the floor
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG GIRL
I have got something I want you to see.
Oh dear god please let me get free!
Closing my eyes this I pray
Daddy please don't hurt me this way!
With his hand over my mouth,
Unable to SHOUT.
Daddy why are you touching me this way?
Didn't anyone tell you it's my
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Staff, H. (2008, November 18). Poetry from Rape Survivors, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, June 1 from https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/articles/poetry-from-rape-survivors