Abuse Montage, poetry written by Joni Caggiano at Spillwords.com

Abuse Montage

Abuse Montage

written by: Joni Caggiano



dark shadows are the sting of my life
memory clouded by waves of strife
tiny eyes, hold back a mountain of tears
no doors in walls to keep out fears
safe with other families, or so I had thought
guess my grownup uncle had not been taught
dollies watch crying and no longer sip their tea
saying no, but strong hands probing, I can’t get free
floating now upwards, towards a flaming light
angels with vivid red hair, tell me I will be alright
closing my eyelids now, I sail on golden wings
his breath far louder, I wish for doors, school, and other things

her insides, dots of crimson, draining down the sink
mixing with vomit as she starts this day with a drink
in that smelly fryer on the stove, donuts sputter
making up for stories, no one dares to utter
face all spotty with broken vessels, bright red
tied up at night, screaming, naked to their bed
school was my only exit out of this dark and sinking ship
my panties down, butt rubbed, and then he’d start to whip
I wonder where these monsters come from, all they did was drink
one day God will deliver my family home, or that is what I think

fixing my hair in a ponytail, pores bleeding, under my breath a mercy plea
always told everything was bad at home, all because of little old me
if you are naughty, I will cut all your waist-length hair while you sleep
I will be in and out; she would say, and never make a peep
once on a note at breakfast she wrote, for a month I cannot speak
I wondered about the other kids, were their lives this dark and bleak
three bottles of rum, on the road for vacation, we were not allowed to stop
at four, I learned to pee in a canning jar, without even spilling a drop
my mom was in the paper a lot, so we moved far away
we lived in a tiny red brick house, and I and the oaks would play



During this particularly isolating time in our society, many children and adults are facing escalating abuse.  People must know there are resources available to help families. This piece, written from a child’s perspective, is an example of the type of abuse I would often meet as an isolated child.

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