A Poem About Abuse: ‘I Shoulda Been Brave’

alone woman abused

Image Credit: Flickr / Spitefully


I Shoulda Been Brave

Innocent, little arms
Outstretched longing for a hug
getting shelter from harms

Long strong arms
Reaching down to give love
giving protection from harms

How do you talk about abuse
when you were little
without wounding your mom?

How do you speak of pain,
loneliness and despair without
making her feel she wasn’t there?

Her sweet face, transferring her love.
Her beautiful eyes mirroring your joy
Tender snapshots I can’t get sick of

Strangled by dark little spots,
Tiny, tiny spots
Overshadowing beautiful passages of adoration

Grown ups pushing each other away,
grown ups who outgrew their childhood laugh,
grown ups that forgot how easy it is to forget.

Longing for another chance to unload,
craving to be little again just so i can tell her,
just so i can show her that I’m brave

She taught me so many things,
unfolded my spirit to unmeasurable lengths
but she forgot to teach me to be mean.

She forgot to teach me how to not be nice
she forgot to teach me how to speak
and not care about others peace.

My silence remains
my pain entrenched like dirt in a
sidewalk crack.

So often stepped on,
so cracked and so closed.

So vulnerable,
rained on,

Let me say sorry,
but i dont know what for.
Make him speak!

That old withered man.
the one fate has carried so bold
preserving his mind even at 90 years old.

Make HIM speak, so this
silence can finally be dropped
and never retold.


This poem was originally published on April 9, 2011 at Florecita Growing Up.