Kim Schilling

Rookie (1967 / Illinois)

He Said, She Said - Poem by Kim Schilling

They delivered me out of profound darkness
With the kissing promise of saving light
The key, they said, was in their mighty hands
Looking up with poignant eyes, I followed.

Put a smile on your face, she said. So I did.
And the burning anguish melted into my soul.
Don’t you dare cry, he said. So I didn’t.
And my tears forever dried up into toxic ashes.

Be good or Dad won’t come home, she said. So I was.
And my heart raced to hear that door open every night.
You don’t know what love it, he said. So I doubted.
And the little I held onto floated away into the clouds.

Go to church and pray and you’ll be fine, she said. So I did.
And resentment built as my God betrayed me time and again.
If you’re unhappy here we’ll send you away, he said. So I lied.
And old recollections of isolation and neglect filled my heart.

No one likes to be around a sad person, she said. So I joked.
And the fool, cloaked in silliness, kept the monsters at bay
Be grateful for what you have, he said. So I tried.
And all the things in the world could not simply hug me.

There are people worse off than you, she said. So I imagined.
And guilt burned like acid through the core of my being.
Straighten up and fly right, he said. So I worked harder.
And hiding behind the scholar was a desperate little girl.

You have nothing to feel bad about, she said. So I stopped feeling.
And the little ones reached out to take my pain for safe keeping.
Anger is not acceptable in this house, he said. So I laughed.
And I ran the razor across my skin to secretly unleash the emerging rage.

You don’t know how good you have it, she said. So I wondered.
And I watched others pass by and wished to share their pain.
I’ll give you something to cry about, he said. So I grit my teeth.
And I so wished he could hear my cries and know what I knew.

I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life, she said. So I cringed.
And I dreamed I was dying a slow torturous death at the hands of loved ones.
Don’t dare talk about family matters to strangers, he said. So I shut up.
And I became numb to myself and the world around me after all.

There's nothing more that can be done for you, they said. So I believed them.

Comments about He Said, She Said by Kim Schilling

  • Kim Barney (9/1/2015 1:38:00 PM)

    This is haunting, and it is beautiful. It has a ring of truth to it, which causes the reader to empathize with the poet. Extremely well done, whether fictional or not. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Jayatissa K. Liyanage (9/1/2015 8:23:00 AM)

    I personally do not see any advice in his case. Poor she had been a terrible victim of a huge hypocrisy. More I read it, more I feel sympathetic for her. Full marks to the poem. (Report) Reply

  • Jaishree Nair (9/1/2015 7:02:00 AM)

    Advices given without bothering to understand a girl's troubles thereby creating a confused and bewildered lass.good write.Thanks 75813 (Report) Reply

  • Gajanan Mishra (9/1/2015 6:18:00 AM)

    we are nothing, really nothing.. (Report) Reply

  • Jasbir Chatterjee (9/1/2015 3:51:00 AM)

    very interesting poem...parents always have good intentions towards their kids; but they are also humans and may not always be right....Thanks for sharing (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (9/1/2015 3:43:00 AM)

    The wordy tussle between make and female about personal matters are well exposed in this poem meant only for the couple to be careful about their way of living! (Report) Reply

  • K.c. Ford (9/1/2015 3:17:00 AM)

    It seems too drawn out, and yet well worth another read. The standard of member poems have been raised. (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (9/1/2015 1:32:00 AM)

    So much counseling from a series of people in our life will more often than not break the receiver than make him. The personality that would emerge is what you have mentioned here:
    And guilt burned like acid through the core of my being.
    ......And I became numb to myself and the world around me after all.
    (Report) Reply

  • Bernard Snyder (9/1/2015 12:30:00 AM)

    What a wonderfully expressed poem! Powerful. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • (8/16/2008 6:07:00 PM)

    A painful message of Man's inhumanity to Man.......even within one's own family! (Report) Reply

  • (8/16/2008 2:45:00 AM)

    Beautiful, simply beautiful (Report) Reply

  • (8/15/2008 4:21:00 PM)

    cool poems you rock i loved it so as my boyfriend (Report) Reply

  • (8/15/2008 4:08:00 AM)

    It gives you the chill. because i actually feel with the little girl her pain and bottled up emotions. emotions are beautifully brought out. i love it (Report) Reply

  • (6/16/2008 3:01:00 PM)

    I notice there is no previous comment so I'm the first. Well, here goes. This is
    a prose revelation of life not uncommon. The story might be written by millions.
    But this story was writen by only one. If its true, its a sign of success. If its not,
    its a sign of brilliance in her writing. Either way, its worth reading and remembering.

    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Poem Edited: Friday, August 28, 2015

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