Cold

cold

cold, cold, hard, damp tiles

bare feet

they didn’t care

with their thick shoes and heavy clothes

pale legs above bloodless toes

the cold hurts

before it numbs

but fear is hot

insides shaking

lips trembling

don’t cry, she warns

don’t whimper or weep

it will be worse for you

stand strong, little mona

stand and stare

see what they point to

see it and know

there is no safety

for little girls

who don’t do what they are told

tears fall silently

on downy cheeks

please don’t notice

i promise i’ll be good

i won’t make a sound

i’ll be daddy’s good girl

you’ll see

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3 thoughts on “Cold

  1. A gillion things churn in me. The image. The image. I read it a week ago and it took this long to be able to respond without choking. This is how it feels in me. Watching from behind, both watcher and watched, belonging to the big man always watching me and the watched one can never leave that moment, but the watcher goes back into the world, back into the socially-sanctioned psychosis of methodical silencing, knowing what she saw but having neither words to explain nor space to speak them. This is unassailable truth with inherent integrity. You remember. I remember. All the boys and girls remember.

    And the poem, choppy lines and monosyllables and a plaintive quietness in which the unspoken declares a crime against humanity, the systematic torture of children.

    • Thank you for sharing how it made you feel. Words aren’t ever enough.

      You know me and you know the feelings inside my words. I hate that you know. But I’m so glad not to be alone in my knowing.

      • Made of stars? We are. There’s not a reason for everything, no matter how we will bang our ‘why?s’ against that truth. You are real. And you are amazing.

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