You talk. You die.

You talk. You die.

Why, when I remember my mind floods with fear? I can now see your face.

At one time it was coming to me like a smoky film. Like heat off hot pavement. Wavering in and out.

But now I see you.

You bastard.
You hurt me.

I remember the day as if it were yesterday.
You threw my body up against a parked car.

I felt the door handle fire its pain into my back.
Nothing like the pain of terror I felt in my gut.

Your forearm across my throat.
Your fingers pushing into my girl parts.
Even I had yet to discover.

“You yell, you die.”

Eyes wild with fear. Legs quivering under your strength.

I closed my eyes and asked “where are you, Mom.?”
“oh sorry, you are busy getting high tonight.”

Suddenly I became enraged.
I snarled. I kicked. I scratched, I hit.
And I ran

I hid.
Behind parked cars.

I watched with held breath as you walked through the parking lot.
I did not breathe.
I moved silently as a cat.
One hiding spot to another.

You left.
I now know your name. It is Thomas.

I heard you were arrested.
Multiple assault charges against young women.

I was not the only one.
There is no comfort in that.

You deserve to die.
You have damaged untold numbers of young women.
I am but one who is now able to speak.

You bastard. Thomas.
I will tell my story.
And I will say your name.

Thomas Thomas Thomas
I will feel no fear or shame.

I did nothing wrong.
You hurt me.

I will tell my story.
And I will say your name.

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The Shards of my Mirror

I cannot speak.
Words fly around in my head like lightning strikes.
First strike to the right, second to the left.

Then a direct hit to my heart.

My throat tightens as if I am wearing a scarf wrapped too tightly around it.
I swallow over and over.
I breathe slowly through my nose to stop the impending need to throw up.

Where did this come from?
This sudden panic.

I walk numbly from my bathroom to the side of my bed, grabbing hold of my pillow.
I hold it tightly to my chest as I rock back and forth.

Who have I hurt?
Who has hurt me?

I want a drink
No…I want a Valium.
No…wait. I want both.

I gulp air as the need to puke subsides.
I angrily swipe the hot tears off my cheeks.
Cursing myself for being fucked up.

How after more than fifty years of living…
I am now falling into a million shattered pieces…

This is my story.
The Shards of my Mirror.

My garden. My soul.

I pull. I rip. I tug. I swear.

The weeds. The rocks. The dirt. The air.

I long to drive my hands in earth and feel the dirt, the worms, its smell and worth.

My garden is hard not unlike my heart.
It gives a little and takes back hard.

I hit a rock. It shatters my back.
I stop and ask myself “What is this about?”

I sink to my knees in sudden repose.
“What is this about, Sharon? What do you suppose?”

I give to others in their need.
Ignoring my self imagined greed.

And yet…I rake, and till, and plant.
And think about others who simply…can’t

I have today.
My blister’s will bear.
My garden is planted with love, sweat, and care.

Tomorrow?
I don’t know what it will bring.

Today.
In my garden, I will sing.