Taking survivors' accounts seriously can help us decide whether lives such as they describe could conceivably have been lived. Sarah Scott, Beyond Disbelief: The politics and experience of ritual abuse (2001) p.66.
No cloaks here.
But April snow pelts the jogger in shorts
and the granite memorial in a one pub
two cemetery North East village.
The nerves of another wisdom lost to grinding
won't give up. I am not buried.
but was a soldier as a child flat chested,
armed, sewing the heather with wire
eating out of tins and counting everything
twice until the November
when my peers took me back to the burn
where I shared my plans to show me theirs.
and cold Angus waters. One girl can hold so much.
Like our old white hen dead beneath the hen hut; no more clucking
amongst the common reds.
The air was turning green when the game keepers
gave me my options, sky
and birdsong soaked up their empty souls,
I chose the kennel
and further resented Ernest
for over salting his tattie skins.
It's not good
and he knows I hate too much salt.
Uniforms set me loose, hosed of the dog shit, took me to the suits
then left me in the field
with orders to ask for help.
I watched the Scholastic ledger turn to cabinets
through my application
Years on the phone
making holes in the wall with
with a cork board pin sent me
and my E cups in a C cup bra
to a warm Southern suburban study
a golden tree dappled light full of savinours and art objects
that I would have to kill to examine alone
Make sure they know not to mention the money, emphasise costumes,
and if they cant remember any baby sacrifices make one up.
In Latin as broken as he was.
The bracken turned to split bones
all the houses are machines. I scrubbed carpets and rinsed
signs from my body and no longer worried about what they meant
You will see the world.
drugged, dissociated and subjugated. This is a pewter chalice
either half brimming or fallow my god I could make any alloy shine
Pulled to a T shrinking to a dot, just another zero,
no xs left to mark the spot
but still I reproduce, there are corners
in every Holliday Inn
that will be forever me.
clatters through and open north facing window
the cat stands on the space bar and the monitor lights
up the room. I'm huddled and racked
in period pain smiling
as Junior sings gaffuwing in his sleep.
almost June. My dreams went from rust
to jade overnight, the bikes are opening up along the straight lines
that lead from the house. Outside my niece is singing
Someday my prince will come, we'll meet on match.com
and of to pub we shall go.