Monday, March 06, 2006

Child of Stone

Only a shadow, head pressed
against the far closet wall, pigtails
tickling my bare shoulders,
I listened to the whack of grandfather's
cane against grandmother's back,
the thump when she finally fell to the floor,
her pleas for mercy...

It was the last time she tried to save me
from his pawing and thrusting, his hands
slowly peeling away layers of my childhood.

I imagined myself donning a Superman cape,
bursting from my safe place to carry her
to where no beatings could follow.

She went there, herself, ten years later.

I still think hearing her cry was harder
than just letting him try to fuck me.
By five, you see, I already knew how
to turn myself into stone, to feel nothing,
to hope for nothing.

7 comments:

Pat Paulk said...

How utterly sad! I hope not autobiographical. I have a friend in Florida that experienced that with her Father, Pris , an excellent write.

Erin said...

If this isnt autobiographical, you possess a talent for convincing your reader. I cringe reading this. I cannot even imagine. Excellent write - hits like a fist to the guts.

Pris said...

Hi Pat and Erin
Since this blog is completely public for anyone in the world to read, I'd rather not comment on my inspiration for the poem and not know who might see. I'm glad this worked for you. And Pat, this sort of thing happens more often than people think. Now that's really scarey.

Geoff Sanderson said...

Pris - Wow! Your poems just get darker, harder to read, and more brilliantly executed. For some, it's a sad, wicked world, for sure.

Pris said...

Thanks, g

i suppose i'll move out of the dark phase at some point, but that seems to be what's coming right now. Glad it meant something to you.

gingerivers said...

Wow, this is seriously heavy. The thought of it makes me sick to my stomach.

Pris said...

it does me, too.