Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Grand Reckoning

Saw you in a picture, 
phone to your ever listening, 
ever sweet, ever conniving ear.
I remember the way your bones 
held up your clothes,
and how I wiped blood from your arm 
when you smashed it in a tack box.
I remember telling you your son was raping me too.
I remember painting fences purple,
yearning to "fix" everything, especially him.
You KNEW, and you KNOW what he did,
and YES, it does matter,
you are sneaky, and you KNOW.
You are his mother, my grandmother, and you fed me to him.
How is it that you can possibly have anything to say now?
How is it that your mouth can move after being so full of lies?
I think I would like you to feel that slicing pain,
I'd like someone you love to use something you love against you.
Your precious labradors, perhaps?
I'd like your body to remember all that I have had to feel,
because of what you did,
and what you did not do.
Your hair is nowhere near as red as the rage in my head.
I showed you my pain,
my fear,
you saw my tremblings,
my terror,
and yet,
n o t h i n g. 
How do you look at yourself?
At him?
A choice was made: honor the child, or indulge the child rapist.
The latter you chose,
and now you sit, 
chatting on your cordless phones,
crossing your anorexic legs,
beckoning to your gaggle of young girls to fetch this and that,
knowing what you know,
that you are the mother of a rapist,
that you brought into this world and nurtured a man who nearly took me out of this world.
And when I was seven, the age of reason they say,
and I told you what he was doing,
did you ever hurt for me?
Was there not a wince,
a blinking,
a battling back of tears?
There was a shush, a hush, a gush of self serving "Shhhh..."
Don't use that word, Sarah, you said.
Your Daddy loves you, you said, how could you say such a thing, you said.
I choked on my own tears as you watched, "Just be happy" you said.
You slipped into your denial dress and asked me to zip it up.
You asked me to carry your shame, your guilt, your denial.
I took it all, I absorbed it all. 
I held his too. 
Not now.
Your worst fear has arrived.
I tell. I speak. I say the words. I tell the truth you worked so diligently to hide inside of me. 
Yes, that's right, you absolute horror of a woman.
People KNOW.
You are exposed.
Tell me not to use the word RAPIST now.
Welcome to the truth.
This is what you have feared.
Interesting that you never feared him tearing my hymen open.
But you sure fear anyone knowing that you allowed this,
that you handed me off to him despite my begging,
that you allowed him to take me against my will,
that you told me to shower when you saw the blood and then,
just like that,
pretended there was never any blood, what was I talking about?
Well, Rapist Mother,
I am a MOTHER now too.
And I know what I know.
No father can love his daughter and rape her.
No Grandmother can love her granddaughter and allow this.
And in the dead of night as you lay in your little bed,
praying to your God,
obsessing in your head,
trying to run from the truth,
may you feel that slicing, 
that burning, that tearing,
entering you, 
for the first time.


Anonymous said...

HOLY SHIT. This is awesome, Sarah. DAMN

Marj aka Thriver said...

Love the poem. Powerful. I've been writing a lot of poetry myself lately. But, mostly short forms. I guess I just don't have the energy. Thanks for sharing.

Sarah Elise Stauffer said...

Marj, I understand the lack of energy! I saw a pic of my grandmother-by chance via a friend on FB who still rides on their farm....which sparked the poem....

Anonymous said...

I can not get over this freaking poem, it is so brilliant.