Terror

I thought she was drowned
the girl at the bottom of the sea
I thought she had died
and all the memories with her
but as I stand
staring to the horizon
my feet sinking
into soft sand
I see a bubble rise
it pops on the surface
and all my childhood terror
swells on the wave
and breaks over me

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Some nightmares are real

How quiet are the footsteps
creeping into my room
How gentle the hands
that lift me from my bed
How soft the voices
that hush my frightened cries
How soothing the motion of the car
taking me far from home

So cold the night
so pale the moonlight
on my bare skin
so brutal the torture
inflicted on my tiny body
shattering my mind
into a thousand pieces

How gentle the hands
that wash away the blood
and dress me in my nightgown
How welcome the sleep
given in a glass of bitter potion
I wake alone in my bed
cold and afraid
Go back to sleep little one
it was just a nightmare.

The fall

Heel to toe, heel to toe
arms outstretched
carefully treading
the edge of the precipice
To one side, normality,
lies and false smiles
and hiding
To the other, the fall
into total darkness
I should be afraid
but instead
I long for the fall,
the need is so strong
Insanity waits for me
at the bottom of the abyss
What is madness
but a letting go
of all the pretences,
a laying bare the pain
for all to see
I am so tired
of defending myself
from those who only glimpse
and want to erase
my dis-ease
with pills and platitudes.
They tell themselves
they help people
but they cannot look
at the mirror of
anyone else’s pain
in case it reflects their own.
My truth is pain and fear
screams and bad dreams,
shame and hate.
Look at me if you will
and see that I am
just like you.
Come fall with me
and embrace my madness.
In the world of the sane
I am alone.

The fallen

the-fallen

It was in the evening of your life

when your body gave way

and you sank to the floor.

Even though I wasn’t there

I have never stopped seeing you fall

over and over again.

You had been falling for years.

As the memories came

so the questions flew at you

like arrows,

each one piercing your armour,

allowing fear in through the holes,

fear that you might get found out.

I tried to fool myself into believing

it was guilt that was crippling you

but now the final pieces

have slotted together

and I know better

than to think good of you.

Even as you sat me on your lap

and sang to me,

making me believe I was special and loved,

you were giving me away

to the highest bidder

It was my money

that bought your house.

I paid for that house with my sanity

but you died

and left me with nothing

but the hatred in my heart.

You are gone now

You will never take back the blame

that was rightfully yours

and you will never know

my forgiveness.

 

Five

What do you do
when you are five years old
and your mother
shuts you away
because she can’t bear to look at you?
In your short life
she has given
no love or cuddles,
only bewildering rage and anger
no matter how hard you try to be good
it is never good enough.
Your body is small,
next to you she is very big
and when her face is in your face
shouting at you
and her hands are on your shoulders
shaking you
you fear you might die.
She shouts
I’ll shake the living daylights out of you.
Maybe one day she did
and you are no longer a real person,
only a shadow in the dark.
How do you know
if you are still alive?

Ghost

a tragic loss of life
said the headlines
I cry for the people
who set out
one rainy November morning
only to have their life
suddenly and unexpectedly
end
I was just a child when
it happened to me
but no one cried for me
no one mourned my loss
no one even noticed
the death of me
they forced my uncooperative limbs
into sleeves and socks
and pushed and dragged me
through a childhood
unremembered
a small
and murdered
ghost
pale and cold
I haunted classrooms
and birthday parties
and at night
he used my lifeless body
over and over
but he couldn’t hurt me any more
I was gone

Frozen in the headlights

The day darkened
as the storm drew near,
the gloom seeped into the room
where two small children played
The door began to open
and immediately
the man outside the window
put his fingers to his lips
in a hush gesture
and captured a little girl
Like a terrified animal
frozen in the glare of headlights
she stared

my heart hammered and I couldn’t move
or tear my eyes away from the window
as my mother put the light on
and left again, closing the door behind her
She didn’t notice my fear,
and I was too afraid to tell.

The child was lit up now,
exposed in the brightness
of the bulb like a
captive fish in a tank
caught and silenced.