In my mind, that place where fantasy
and I meet, I watched wave after wave
crash on the shore. I saw heartache
after heartache wash away the lines
in the sand. You can’t cross a line if
it isn’t there, can you?
I looked up at the dunes. I saw a big
woman waving to me. “Come on!” she
waved with one hand while the other
kept a large floppy sun hat on her
head. On the beach the sand was hot
in the midday sun and the water was
cold but there was always wind on
the dunes. Her light sundress blew
against her side and back.
I started to walk up the steep path
from the beach to the dunes. I lost
sight of her where the path zigzagged
as I neared the place where she stood.
When I got to the top, it became clear
that the woman was me.
As I laughed and sighed, I looked at
the beach. I saw a little boy playing
alone in the sand. He looked up.
There was something about him that
said he always plays alone. As I
waved, “Come on!” I knew that the
skinny tanned little boy was me.
It was early in the afternoon.
We closed the bedroom door
and did what we said we’d do.
My wife asked me to tell her
about what happened to me
when I was a child.
I have seldom spoken about
the unspeakable, undoable,
All true. We walked through
the secret places of my
childhood sexual abuse.
When I was eight years old,
I lost a lifetime but I didn’t
learn about it until I was fifty.
You listened and loved me with
each word I spoke. You love me
for all that we will share and do.
What I know, all that I hoped for,
longed to do, and deeply desired
would never be the same as we
take a new road together that
rose out of the fire and ashes
of the unspeakable.
there is life on both
sides of the window
is another lie
the little boy didn’t
believe it because
no one saw what he
saw through the window
he saw fear and pain
on both sides of
no one could hear
him or see him on
his side of the window
I can’t be having the thoughts I’m having.
The thoughts of past abuse never go
completely away. I understand that.
Those thoughts spawn other thoughts.
And before I know it, I’m back in a place
I don’t want to be.
Pain and pleasure converge once again
and I’m in touch with the confusion of
the eight-year-old that was me.
It is Satan’s fuel fanning the fires of past
abuse freezing my thoughts for today.
Fiery arrows aimed at the heart to destroy
whatever is true. The breath of an angel is
all it takes to quench this Hell fire and
bring me back into God’s grace and truth.
Light and darkness can never occupy the
same space. All it takes is a candle of faith
to dispel the darkness.