How Do We Protect




This week has felt
like walking on marbles
every step, every word
unfamiliar, off  balancing
like learning a new language
like losing one’s hearing
the deafening silents of a room
not one breath could be heard
my ears ache from the strain

This week I wore an armour
a deflector of evil stares
their acid scented breath that lingered
walking into a den of wolves
with their matted manes
their yellowed teeth
their foaming mouths
their torn hoofs
how can one feel protected
when evil drips from the rafters
like molten tar, black, thick, all-consuming
a den, void of any life

How have we forgotten?
the child so young, so trusting, so innocent
abuse does not easily fade with passing years
the child remains hidden
in a protected place
the subconscious mind

I am compelled to extend my hand
to open my heart
to create a secure place
for that child to return
my mind spins as I sit and listen
words and images fight for space in my head
breathing does not release the throbbing
hands tighten, knuckles whiten
anger grows with the frustration of legalities
‘To prove beyond doubt’

A child’s memory is so delicate
so different than an adult
yet, they are expected to remember
to act as an adult should
a child’s mind protects
for survival is an instinct
how would we react
with our many years of age?
nothing can erase
 the horror that has been done to them
victims will always remember
like a shadow following them to death
forever marked, like a tattoo engraved beneath the skin

I listen to witnesses
unable to move my eyes
my ears can’t comprehend the words
leaving their mouths
one after another they speak
as if reading from a script
I feel hollow, everything echoing

But what I feel  is nothing
compared to the continued rotting
they will experience of their soul
no way will they sleep
soundly again
no way will they feel happiness

In time, they will turn on each other
like wolves in a pack
fighting for the same bone
the sub-conscience is a vital component in our construction
it will not release them of guilt
or the empty words they spoke

As a person who draws lines and assembles words
my focus is the child that became an adult
I can only offer comfort and support
to deflect as much as I am capable
to ease their sorrow for an hour
to communicate belief in their memories
to support with open heart and arms
I myself will sleep well

If I can bring attention to the uneven justice
create a path for victims to feel comfort
I may then return with a little ease
to my own mind and art
so I may again
look to things of beauty
and things of love
for we must never allow the evil that lurks
to control the good we know to be