You tried to steal my voice,
vandalize my soul, and told
me not to tell. I didn’t.
You shut the door behind us
and said it was ok. It wasn’t.
My mouth felt sewn so tight that
ice-cold blood oozed from its edges
and would spill as truth if I dared talk.
So I didn’t. My pain was my promise
and I never broke promises.
Besides, you warned me not to tell.
You said no one would believe me
I’d asked for it, they’d say.
I’d begged for it, I needed it, they’d say.
You shut the door behind us,
said I had nowhere to go. I felt
the color drain from my face.
You had said to trust you. I had.
I was your drug. When you were finished,
you disposed me, like a blunt
with whatever flame was left to smolder.
I lived in the shadow of your crime,
feeling the shame, locked inside my
private cell, my lips were sealed.
My words could not escape.
Until I heard the echoes.
“Me, too.” Bouncing off the
caverns of women’s souls.
“Me, too,” they echoed in droves.
You had muted my voice,
threaded my lips with threats.
But threads fray and fear fades
when others speak my pain.
And now I can finally say
Shelly Blankman and her husband are empty-nesters who live in Columbia, Maryland with their 4 cat rescues. They have two sons: Richard, 32, of New York, and Joshua, 30, of San Antonio. Her first love has always been poetry, although her career has generally followed the path of public relations/journalism. Shelly’s poetry has been published by Whispers, Silver Birch Press, Verse-Virtual, Praxis Magazine Online, Ekphrastic: writing and art on art and writing and Visual Verse.