Un Cadeau de Silence

“Simply having children does not make mothers.” – John A. Shedd

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
– Elie Wiesel

“I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.”
– Audre Lorde

Un Cadeau de Silence

Amazon

Wants me to

Find the

Perfect gift

For mom

Mother’s day

Will soon

Be upon

Us

She will

Be upon

With the

Stick

The hard rubber brush

The chemicals

The rituals

Upon me

Beating childhood

Like a seal pup

Until all that remains

Is the bloody pulp

Survival required

Blocking out

So many years

Time and distance

Are both

Healers

Mother’s day

Flashbacks

But the war is

Over

For me

Six-thousand miles

A buffer

Zone

Let

The Hague

Try her crimes

The gift of

Silence

No longer

On the

Table

And

I

Will not

Be

Bought

Bisous,

Léa

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Memoir

“Love is forever, lust is for the moment…got a moment?” – Michael Gorman

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful…” – Mae West

Memoir

You shall be

My pillow book

My brush

Will record

Each story

We create

Slowly

I master

Every pore

Your flesh

Will sing

With the

Tears, lust

And laughter

Shared

Exclamation points,

Ellipsis

I shall

Punctuate you

With care

Overlooking

Naught

Each mark

I leave

Every stroke

I make

Indelible

Bisous,

Léa

Wounded

“Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.” – John Locke

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” – Dr. Seuss

Wounded

The tiny blonde woman wails like a banshee

Invoking her curse that I not see my children again

Since the Courts ruled she can’t see her children again

Says she will take me out like Rambo

Court orders sever familial ties

As Reunification services are terminated

A three-year-old boy

Whose name she doesn’t remember “You know, the one I hit.”

And social workers are left to assess detriment

For future visits with this parent

There will be no contact

And Jeffery learns he doesn’t have to hide

Each time he hears footsteps

Doesn’t cower at the knock on the door

The door is not after him It won’t slam him down

As when momma calls from the other side

His vocabulary multiplies each day

His now chubby freckled cheeks widen

As a grin spreads across his face

He runs to the waiting arms of his foster mother

Learning to trust – there are no tricks here

No fist hidden behind her back

Waiting to strike out

Like the eerie hissing of the snake

Whose incantations are lifted from my voice mail

Voice printing

As the sheriff’s department collects evidence

My office building covered with her picture

Covered with warnings – Do not approach

Report sightings immediately

She says that it is her daughter that she loves

The one with the heart condition … her name is Brittany

Does she remember?

Does she remember the names of any of the others?

Six others – each who have different homes

In different states across the country

Altered states

Is time healing their wounds? Do the scars show?

The deepest ones rarely do

Thousands of miles from here

Other social workers are dealing with scars

From the tiny blonde woman

Who wails like a banshee

On my voice mail

In their nightmares

In the quiet of my room

Late at night

Back at the office

I hesitate Before answering the phone

At work they tell me to be careful

“Watch your back” “get an escort to your car”

Reassurance that law enforcement is looking

For the tiny blonde woman

Is obtaining a warrant

They lie in wait for her

As she lie in wait for Jeffery

On the other side of the door

As she lies in wait for me

Wailing

This wounded animal

Lies in wait

Waiting to strike

And I wonder about the animal

That wailed lying in wait for her

Ripping its claws deep inside

Shredding her mind, her soul

Wounded, wailing

The tiny blonde woman

Wails and

Waits

Bisous,

Léa

Haiku: Childhood

“Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.”  – Herbert Ward

“Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them, leaves an impression.” – Haim Ginott

“When someone was hitting me, or like sexually molesting me, it just seemed normal to continue to do that to myself.”  – Tatum O’Neal

Childhood

For many of us

Life wasn’t about being loved

Survival’s the game

Bisous,

Léa

Résonance de la vie

“The leaves of memory seemed to make
A mournful rustling in the dark.”
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Résonance de la vie

They say

Hearing is the last sense

To close down

As we die

I have always had

Sensitive hearing

Will the echo of

The flames

Lapping at me

Carry me off

From this life

To what lies

Ahead

Résonance

Of a child’s cry

The lover’s threat

Crashing of waves

Ricochet

Accompany me now

And evermore

Better the laughter

And tears

Than no sounds

At all

Bisous,

Léa

Sanctuary

“I speak two languages, Body and English.”

– Mae West

Sanctuary 

Your eyes

Are my deepest

Sacred pools

Light reflects

As it dances

Across the iris

Following my movements

As I take command

Distraction averts your focus

Boundaries collide and fall

I shall return again and again

For sustenance, for warmth

To grow in the hallowed embrace

Of this sanctuary

Bisous,

Léa


Winter Ritual

“Winter either bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail.”

– Proverb

“Looking up, she showed him quite a young face, but one whose bloom and promise were all swept away, as if the haggard winter should unnaturally kill the spring.”

-Charles Dickens

Winter Ritual

In the bowery

The patrol vans

Crawl

Ever so slowly

At first light

Looking

Left then right

Scouring each

Alley

Never knowing

Where the next one

Will be found

Easily identified

The blue color

Of lips

The rigid form

The cold

Of each

Who escaped

Their pain

Freezing quietly

Into the night

Zipped in for eternity

Body bags

Not a fashion statement

Potter’s field

Not a destination

3000 miles away

I saw my father’s eyes

Closed

Bisous,

Léa