The Afterword

by: Sarah Ann Henderson

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I need you to know what happened
I need you to know the pain

I need someone to understand how
Exactly my spirit was slain

The act itself is just the first battle
In what, alas, is a lifelong war

Something that, though it might wane
Will always exist at your core

It consumes your identity whole
And leaves you with nothing but fear

And the word “victim”– your new name
A label that firmly adheres

Some want the details and some don’t
Though once answered, all are sorry they asked

They withdraw with their platitudes
And their dumbfounded sympathy masks

“Gee that shouldn’t have happened to you”
“Don’t worry, I love you the same”

“I’m sure that you’re going to be fine”
“No you’re certainly not to blame”

They can’t fathom the hell you’ve been through
And they don’t really want to know

They’d rather politely moved on
They’d rather your injuries not show

Well fuck that and fuck all of them
I can’t move on until I’ve been heard

Until all of the details are known
‘Till they’ve listened to every word

See, the only way I can prove
That they didn’t kill my whole heart

Is to lay all of my pieces out
And still find love for every part

I need you to know the worst details
So if they change how you feel you’ll just go

And I won’t have to wait for some random day
When you learn something you didn’t know

I will not be abandoned again
Want to listen? Then you’ll hear it all

It’s the only revenge that I get
It’s the only bluff I have to call

You say that you’re there for me, right?
That you want to help ease my pain?

Then listen, take that here’s what they did to me
Please feel some of my rage and disdain

I’m sorry, I don’t mean to lash out
I just don’t know what else to do

With that hell that I carry inside
With the tortures that I’ve ambled through

I suppose on some level I’m healing
At least I pray that’s true

And I will just have to keep writing
This life story that’s long overdue

© Sarah Ann Gaston 2007