The winning entry of the ‘Enough is Enough: Sexual Abuse and Violence Awareness Week’ poetry competition

By: Anonymous

Memories of that moment remain suspended around me like fractured glass

Twelve

I

The first time it happened, I had walked with his crying wife,

she wasn’t sure she would ever be a mother.

I reassured her she could play dress up with me 

for as long as she liked.

She laughed, but I remember meaning it

That’s what love feels like at twelve I suppose

She was so kind, and she was hurting

I wanted her to take me 

for all the reassurance I could offer

The next morning, I rushed through breakfast, 

I was late for the bus

He had come by looking to pick up our shared lawnmower

I was home alone, he asked me for a kiss

Memories of that moment remain suspended 

around me like fractured glass 

I gave him a peck on the cheek

II

I was twelve.

He kissed me, not on the cheek

I told him he scared me

I told him everything would be alright

I was worried he was upset, like she had been

He did it again,

and again

I was twelve.

I was thirteen. 

He said I made him feel good

He laughed when I felt too shaken to lock the door

III

Last month he stood in my kitchen and ate a cookie I had made

He said it was the best one he’s ever had.

Standing beside him, she asks me 

if she was still invited to my wedding one day

She wants to dance to a song we loved when I was twelve

She’s finally a mother 

‘to two wonderful boys,’ she tells me

She asks me why we drifted apart

I haven’t felt at home in my own body in a decade 

but he’s on a beach in Hawaii 

He is a father now

He says he worries about his ten-year old’s safety at school

What about me?

Photo Caption: fractured glass (credit: creative commons)

Post Author: SOAS Spirit

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