I found this poem that I wrote quite a few years back about a major event in my past.  When I read it, it reminded me of all the fear and pain that I experienced in my early adulthood.  It was an event that seriously altered my life, and I let it hurt me for years.  I stewed over it, replayed it, let it control my choices and how I valued myself.  Last year I finally came to perceive it differently and accept it and know that it is in the past. I would like to share the poem here so that other people know that they\'re not alone and that they can heal (however slowly) over time.


I was always a push-over,

Soft and young like a baby chick

With that completely naïve stare in my eyes.

My soft smile the boys just had to touch.

I was always clean then.  

Alright, I had a little blush.

I didn’t love him, Daddy.

And, no, I didn’t want to have his children!

In fact, Daddy, I was terrified of him.

You want to know what really happened?

What really happened to your little girl?

What gives her . . . me nightmares I wake

up screaming from?

Well, that summer I decided I was going to live

in the “real world.”

Unfortunately, that “real world” came in the form

of Geronimo.

With his dark skin and broken English he was like an

old, sunburned cigar dropped on the sidewalk—intriguing to

my young mind.

I met him at work, and he asked me out.  

I should’ve said no.

I didn’t trust him, but he was the “real world” without a doubt.

He promised me “la luna” and compared my beauty to

“las estrellas” in his native tongue, which I pretended not to understand,

as he drove me away in his car.

Twenty-eight year old Geronimo from Mexico.

I should’ve said no.

He kept me out all night long and refused to take me back to my car—

my lonely car, so far, sitting in the parking lot where I worked.

No one was thinking about the person who owned the car.  They didn’t

know the person who owned that car was in danger and in distress.

Just an abandoned car.

So, we drove on and parked in front of a small cafe.  Then he made his move.

Just kissing?  Ha! No, he wanted much more.

I tried to say no, but he was sure that he knew best.

Pretty soon I was half undressed.

Me, in the moonlight, feeling unclean, in the filthy front seat of an old Monte Carlo.

I stopped him though.

“I won’t have sex with you.”

I was in control—hardly.

I did say no, but “no” doesn’t matter;

not to someone who is destined to take you right over a cliff—

Ge…ron…i…mo . . .

Again, it was all downhill from there.

He invited me, with a firm hand, to his postage stamp apartment.

Yes, Daddy, maybe I was being stupid,

but to be honest I didn’t know.

I didn’t trust him, but there I sat

on his sleeping bag for a bed—all crumpled

like my insides felt.


He locked his bedroom door.

No. No. No.

I tried to say no—a word I knew we both understood.

Soon he had finished.

As I started to cry

his semen like poison crawled up inside.

It had to be poisoned;

I could feel it tearing out my insides, my heart,

my little girlness.

I sobbed, thinking of my family—my parents who loved me,

my siblings who thought I was the greatest,

and I thought of God—not knowing whether to be afraid of Him,

or to be angry with Him.

I asked him to save me one night on the road.

I rolled down the window and let the crisp night wind bite at my tears, as we sailed along in that boat upon a concrete river of road.

Reaching up to the sky and pleading in my mind,

“God, please help me. Take me away. Please help me, your child.

This has happened for days.”

I was tainted, exhausted, and broken—

A captive of not saying no.

The word I’ve heard you say, Daddy,  

trying to protect me all this time.

When I told the cops they said no too.

No, I didn’t “have a case.”

Now I wake up screaming.

No! No! No!

In my heart, mind, and soul.

But that was three years ago,

when I learned to say no.


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