Experiences were all she had left
yet even they were threatened
by this catholic desire to scrub
the castle clean.
She had clung to a thin thread of sanity
in belief it was all that mattered –
by not denying what had happened
she would somehow be pure and
clean tho’ never innocent again.
It was agony to let the past relive
itself in her poems; never cathartic –
humiliation and resurgent pain
flooded recumbent veins, drained
her of rebellious energies.
She thought time and again to cut
and bleed and be free of it, to take
the scars apart, oust the memories.
Shame revived in meeting gaunt and
haunted eyes staring from a mirror
reflecting pale ghosts and spectres
of heart-rending, unremitting doubt.
There was a glimmer of hope – the hand
of a kindred soul whose words seemed
to know a way, raised faint hope but even
they couldn’t fathom degrading depths of
incestuous rape – and the light went out.
© 7 June 2007, I.D. Carswell