Poem about Remembering Childhood Abuse

To My Sisters and Brothers

Little blue eyes looking up from the oyster shells,
crispy pencils of reeds beached and dried,
my father laboring hotly over the hull of the boat,
all perfectly clear.

What are the details of a fog?
Memories that had to go far away,
stripped down, fragmented.
Unwanted sensations, but no place
no pattern of the wallpaper
no light. No feeling of the rest of my body,
if I have one,
no person doing this to me.

Dizziness pulls my body backward in a spiral.
This fog is my fog
this lack of detail is the tale I must tell.

Others have wandered the same landscape.
At the edge of the downward spiral path
is a hut where pilgrims may rest.
I see their footprints in the dust.
And I know I have built this labyrinth,
I have called back the little girl who leads me there.
I told her, I believe you, I am listening
so she could speak, though her speech had no words.

When these words make our scenery appear,
it is a magic we are doing
writing our life into existence.
It is an offering to the others,
our sisters in the fog.

This poem is from my memoir, The River of Forgetting


Vexations said...

Your "fog" metaphor works for me. Impressive! So let's see if this comment will work here.

Anonymous said...

I relate to your writings on many levels. I wrote this poem and wanted to share it with you. I know it may not be possible to be in touch with you, but I'd like to be. Peace...

The art of me…
Is it a question of beauty?
An unraveling of pain
Life that is unseen
Deep groanings of a masterpiece?
Not a beauty I want to see
Moments combined
Puzzles of missing scenes
Questions of why
All this happening to me
The breath is caught inside
Walls closing in…
Oh Jesus
No more light!
I want to scream
Resounding sounds of my symphony
It’s not great
It’s not art
It’s not lovely
It was written
It was sculpted
Without a plea
This story of beauty?
An amazing mystery
Or web of wounds

Couldn’t You protect me?
What’s the plan?
What were you thinking?
A mess of a painting
A book no one will read
Let’s not look
I find it difficult to be.
Be, relax, breath
How Good Lord
How can I be me?
Capture this pain
Nail it to a tree
Set me free
I can’t breath

Jane Rowan said...

Dear anonymous,
That poem is wonderful, the fragments expressing so many aspects of trauma, art, and healing. I hope you keep writing.

And yes, you can reach me via author@janerowan.com .

I hope you are well.