Purple Ribbon Poems: Family Values


Family Values

Denial carves deep, the truth betrayed
As she watches her soul drip off the blade

Pain becomes comfort, trust becomes threat
She’s beginning to break, but they’re not finished yet

Love is divided: dominion/defeat
With no middle ground in which to retreat

Again and again they annihilate her soul
Splitting her brain, wanting total control

“Snap out of it now, it isn’t that bad
Nothing is wrong, stop looking so sad

Now, this might hurt, but it’s for your own good
Stop sulking as if you’re so misunderstood

It’s all out of love that I invade this space,
Erase your reality, leaving no trace

I’m saving you, trust me, you don’t want to know
Perhaps this won’t effect you if it doesn’t show”

Shadows and secrets, the family’s domain
A prison of dread in which she remained

Blinded, noiseless, bound by fear and shame
Awaiting rejection, assumption of blame

We blocked the scenes, smiled, waved to the crowd
Each taking up no more space than was allowed

The lesson was learned: you should be what you’re  not
One child submitted, the other one fought

Needing was selfish, a luxury shunned
“You may BE a child but stop ACTING like one

For crying out loud, I’m doing my best
Your father’s a bastard, I can’t ever rest

Sweetheart, can you help me in all of my strife?
It’s not asking much– all I want is your life”

© Sarah Henderson 2002


About writingforrecovery

Sarah is a writer and poet who speaks out about issues that make people uncomfortable. Sarah advocates for causes such a sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and mental illness, and often speaks openly about her own experiences. She is determined to abolish the stigma associated with these issues and believes that it starts with people telling their stories, so she started a blog called Writing for Recovery where people can do just that. She is the author of three volumes of poetry and is currently at work on her fourth. She is convinced that there's a novel somewhere in her, and occasionally picks at the chapters so far. View all posts by writingforrecovery

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