Sierra Booij

Where Is - Poem by Sierra Booij

Where is
where is,

where are the men?
tell me when it’s safe to come out
I’d hide forever
if I thought it would save me.

when was
when was,

the exact moment
my life changed?
was it before I opened the door?
was it even supposed to be me?
did they care?

tell me
tell me,

when was the exact moment
this oppressive burden
this formidable, unspeakable horror
- and subsequent stark madness -
became real?

if only
if only,

they’d held me down
and used a thumbscrew
to crush my thumbs
then I’d know it’s ok to cry
I’d cry even louder
at the agony of my thumbs being torn
from my forefingers
I’d prefer that form of torture
if it would save me from the agony of
my own fragility

I didn’t want to give them my tears
I didn’t want to be exposed and at mercy
I didn’t want to be that kind of victim
numb from hours of abuse
left open and quivering

I’ve nothing left to give and nothing left to fight for

The shame, the shame
the utter indignity
of my own helplessness
it shames me still.

tell me
tell me,

how do I cope?
when faced with this despairing truth?
when hope withers, delicately beautiful as it dies
when the promise of not having suffered this pain
vanishes, silently - brutally in the end
and there is nothing left to do

but remember.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, February 14, 2010

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