I Did Not Know

   Loss of innocence

The issue of child abuse is a remote phenomena until it comes home to roost . When it happened to a childhood friend’s daughter the remoteness of the phenomena  evaporated,  and it hurt like crazy. My pain gave birth to this poem, “I Did not Know”.

I Did Not Know (2013)

I confess I did not know

of the breach of long ago,

and when I heard, it pained me so

that tears refused to flow.


Stillborn tears are worst, you know.

They wrack your being in vain.

You cannot sleep, you cannot rest,

for deeds you can’t redress.


Nightmarish thoughts overrun my breast,

conjuring, tormenting, protocol despising,

adjudicating for logic, sense, and meaning,

with the philosophies of the best.


Hades’s life entombed and threatening

in a young girl’s womb.

Breach, interruption, society’s decimation,

deflowered Persephone in need of a redefinition.


I can’t turn back the clock, my dear,

or murder the inspirer of fear,

but I relentlessly mourn all Persephones,

as though they were my own.


“I Did not Know” and similar poems can be found in my book Splendor from Ashes


31 thoughts on “I Did Not Know

  1. Very powerful poem. I found the line “stillborn tears” particularly moving because it captured those moments where we are feeling so much pain but cannot release it and so it just continues to haunt us. I also agree with the opening — that issues such as child abuse seem far removed until they happen to someone close to us. This is a potent reminder of why we need poems such as yours to evoke empathy in us because just hearing these stories in the news is not enough.


  2. I’ll admit, I had to skim read this the first time round. I knew it was going to hurt, but I’m so glad I read it properly (albeit on the third try). It’s only by reading and writing about these topics that we’ll each be able to make a difference


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