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.

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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

In my shoes

There have been times

in my life

when people have judged me

negatively,

or spoken badly of me

because they never took the time

to ask me

my point of view,

they never tried to understand

what life is like for me

or

maybe

I was just an easy target

for the hatred

that they had to offload

onto another hurt person

so they didn’t have to feel it

themselves.

Either way

I got hurt.

So here are my shoes.

Before you judge me

or speak ill of me

put them on,

fasten them tight

and walk a mile with me.