One Explanation


Anguished father
fraught with pain so tenacious
even electric current couldn’t exorcise
too emotionally insubstantial
to hold children safe
we slid right through
gathering sharp edged pieces of ache as we went
regurgitating the sadness
too heavy for small bodies to store

Vicious date rapist
consumed with need to dominate
even a beating heart could not exorcise
too emotionally void
to see the girl
your hatred erased me
leaving debris where there had been dreamer
delaying my emersion
into woman fully formed

Embittered stepfather
filled with quiet rage
even steady shots of bourbon couldn’t exorcise
too emotionally livid
to see I loved you
you tried to have me arrested
for shielding my mother from your fury
leaving me homeless
as a high school graduation gift

All the men
who were given my implicit faith,
is it a wonder
why I hold my trust dear?

Julie Ayers, May 2011


About Julie Ayers

Seasoned apocaloptimist, keen admirer of well-placed words, fierce mama bear of extra special children, black belt hugger, and advocate for a fashion rebellion which elevates the most human of hearts to socially acceptable outerwear.

2 responses »

  1. I love the parallels you draw between all three men with the use of repetition, and as always, your imagery is devastatingly powerful and clear. But, I felt like the last stanza wasn’t as strong. Still, I love how intensely personal and focused your poetry is – it’s haunting.

  2. Max was just relieved he didn’t get a stanza. lol He’s just referenced in the “couplet” at the end. I can see your point about the last stanza though. I could reach that place more artfully and less bluntly. I think I was probably just rushing to a point and need to rework that. Thanks for the constructive feedback. Much appreciated. The nice stuff you said was heartening. I worry my stuff is too personal and too concrete and not artful enough. I like haunting though. A wicked, pernicious spirit am I.

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