by: Sarah Ann Henderson


My body’s a breathing crime scene
I’ve known no other life

My memories are riddled with trauma
It’s a miracle that I survived

I live in a long-dead war zone
Flinching at threats that aren’t there

At night every horror comes back
I’m ravaged by rage and despair

I was killed before I got to live
No chance to be my own girl

He deadened all but a spark of my soul
To keep me in his depraved world

Terrorized, raped, and abused
He used every weapon at hand

To make freedom impossible for me
And perpetuate his evil plan

Through the years the silence got louder
And the darkness left me nearly blind

I could stay caged no longer
So I left clues for others to find

When it was clear no rescue was coming
There was only one thing left to do

I reached deeper inside than ever before
And forced my voice to come through

And before I knew what was happening
The walls of my prison had shattered

My pain and I were finally seen
For the first time I felt like I mattered

I looked around for my jailer
But he had apparently fled

My testimony served to terrorize him
There was power in what I had said

I used my voice to break free
And I had to use it to heal

I spent years on a couch using my voice to purge
The violence he forced me to feel

Now I use it to help others break free
To realize the power they hold

If I’d known I wouldn’t have spent all those years
Wishing that I had told

© Sarah Ann Henderson 2011