Abuse, Jennifer, Love, People, Poetry, Sexual Abuse

A Letter to Find in the Morning

(About a 2 minute read)

“Strange someone would do that to a child.”
It sounds lame to say it, Jennifer,
But that doesn’t make the strangeness go away,
The feeling that something alien, terribly alien,
Once happened to you on that lonely ranch
Near Grand Junction.

You’re restless in your sleep tonight.
Your head tosses this way, then that way.
I worry that when you whisper
Something I can’t quite make out,
You dream of the year of your foster father,
His brother and their cousin.

The moonlight on your face
Makes you look ghostly, those are ghosts
You wrestle with tonight,
Ghosts you’ll always have.

But at least they’re ghosts now.
They once were demons.

I can wish that year had never happened
But it did happen.
I can wish you could forget it had happened.
But how could anyone forget that?
I could wish
I could wish
And I could wish,

But what can I do?

There are healers. You’ve been to them.
You’re healed now — as functional as anyone.
Only the dreams still come at night,
The memories return by day,
The scars still show
In both your beliefs and your actions.

But what can I do?

I try to understand what’s too alien
To understand, what can never be understood.

I accept your scars, your ghosts,
I don’t tell you to “get beyond it”.

But nothing feels like I’m doing anything.

I slip out of bed,
Hoping that doesn’t make things worse
For you in your sleep.

On your desk by the window
I find a pad and your pen,
Write you a love letter to find
In the morning.

Inspired by a poem on Paeansunplugged’s blog that can be found here.

13 thoughts on “A Letter to Find in the Morning”

      1. I went through much turmoil after posting it yesterday but a dear friend held my hand and told me some stories must be told and I find it heartening that you have taken this one step further.


      2. I completely agree these stories must be told. The first step in combating the evil is to make people aware of it. Acutely aware of it. And it can be combated. Someday, it will be rare or ended altogether.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m left with the word ‘alien’ stuck in my head; a word that implies distance, strangeness.. It works well in describing contrast between the heart of desire and the cold heartlessness of the act.

    The nightmares fade. You learn not to flinch every time someone touches you. For most, the experience eventually becomes either a cause or a cautionary tale, and it hurts far more to know that it is still happening to others than to remember that it happened to you.

    I love your sensitivity.


      1. I found it helped to write my story in four different ways:
        1. The way I experienced it
        2. The way an invisible watcher saw it.
        3. An entirely different version of the events where I came out on top
        4. As a comedy, which sounds unlikely, but it can be done.
        Then I looked at the four versions, and wrote a fifth taking whatever I liked from each. It didn’t change the reality, but it made it seem more like fiction. Or something.


      2. Makes sense. Seeing things in different lights can depersonalize something, pull its fangs. I’m especially interested in the comedy angle. That was a stroke of genius to do that. When I worked on the fire department, the rescue calls could be merciless — three nights of disturbing dreams after a bad one was common among the crew. We found black humor helped. You might say of a dead man, for instance, that at least he escaped paying taxes this year. That sort of thing.


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