Outcry: “Asylum (Requiescat In Pacem)”

This is the first poem in the series dedicated to child abuse. I wrote this with the sexual abuse/incest I endured at the hands of my father in mind;  despite the subject, it’s one of my favorites. It was one of those rare poems that seemed to show up in my mind pre-written, fully formed, as if I was transcribing it rather than creating it. It came up right after a particularly difficult therapy session. I was at a nearby Starbucks, where I often stopped after therapy to decompress before going home, when suddenly this whole poem came to me. I grabbed some napkins, turned to the guy at the next table and literally grabbed the pen he was using out of his hand with a hurried “Excuse me” and began scribbling these verses on the napkins. He probably thought I was not only rude, but insane. I didn’t really give a damn. When the universe opens up and hands you a gift, don’t ignore it for anything.

5/21/02

Asylum (Requiescat In Pacem)

smothered

buried

encapsulated fear

dulled

destroyed

my selective ear

voices

screaming

not one vocalized

a plea

unanswered

should be no surprise

bound up

and gagged

i look on from above

affectionate

violence

he redefined love

arrested

disarmed

paralytic dismay

body

response

take this heat away

clenching

choking

i recede from here

imprisoned

sobbing

invisible tears

distant

tomb-like

protective darkness

the motions

his breathing

can’t penetrate this

tragic

delusion

assumption of blame

silenced

sentenced

to oppressive shame

cut-off

closed-up

let the impulses burn

alone

untouched

who knows when i’ll return

© Sarah Ann Henderson 2002

Advertisements

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

2 responses to “Outcry: “Asylum (Requiescat In Pacem)”

  • Joanna

    Wow…that was intense. I felt it. I know that pain of being molested. Write now I am working through it and my ED…it’s hell. Thanks for posting this.

    Jo

    • writingforrecovery

      I always appreciate hearing that my work has affected someone. I’m glad that you’re working through your experiences; I hope you have some help with that, it’s impossible to do it alone! Take care and be kind to yourself.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: