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"A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave." -Gandhi


  • By Anthea Burson

My life is not 
An open book 
There are places 
I can't let you look
Some I share
And you can see 
Some pages turn only for me.
The ink is smeared 
With tears and blood
These leaves are soiled 
With dirt and mud 
The edges creased
And binding torn 
Signs of disrespect and scorn
Discarded by others 
It's precious to me.
But to fragile to handle
I can't let you see.


  • by Angela Doyle

I am so angry to the point of RAGE! RAGE against the injustices of life, love, & the powerlessness that plagues these pursuits!

RAGE against the lack of sensitivity to other People's needs, wants, & search for happiness!

How DARE you tell me how I am supposed to live MY life?!

Who gave YOU that right?!

You overlook me like I don't matter, like I Ceased to exist, or just never did

RAGE because of the nothingness, because of Of my lack of importance! I NEED to matter! I NEED to make a difference!

I AM SOMEBODY! Even if I am nobody to you.

Rage directed towards the thoughtless, Insensitive men & women who think that they Are everything to everybody! RAGE for unrequited love, for the predestined determination that heart will break!

I am so ANGRY. Angry at peace, joy, happiness, love.

All stolen from me by pain, & people who don't Care enough to rage

Or rage enough to love


  • By Anthea Burson

Stupid dog!
I'm blaming the dog
It's not her fault
And I know that,
But I'm blaming her anyway.

After she trusted him
And came running
With her tail wagging
Every time he came home

No matter
How long he was gone
Or who he'd been with
Just coming home made everything all right.

Stupid dog!
I'm blaming the dog


  • By Ashley Taylor

not fully washed 
off white walls

that have not yet
begun to heal.

of the rarely-visited dead.
Placed on the graves

that dig in and
leave impressions.

that reflect what's
at the bottom of the bottle.

when stinging flesh turns into
the shape of a hand.


To overcome the past

And move on.


  • by Francine Fuerst

When I was first born I was
My mother's baby.
When I was small,
My father's little girl.
Teenage years made me
My boyfriend's sweetheart.
Marriage made me
My husband's wife.
Until uncertainty let me go.
And I belonged to no one
And I was nothing.
Trial and turmoil resulted
Until the day I realized
Only I see with these eyes
Smell with this nose
Taste with this mouth
And feel with these feelings.
Since that moment
I share my thoughts and body
With whom I wish
But I belong to no one

I am mine.


  • by Elijah

My daddy hurts my mommy.
Sometimes he hits me.
I stay at my Aunties house.
The policeman took my daddy.
My mommy is in the hospital.
My daddy is in jail.
I went to the hospital.
Now my arm is broken.
I don't like my daddy he is dumb.


  • by Carol Popp

I left my house,
A battered spouse.
I ran away,
For a better way.
I left my things,
To find some wings.

I left to have life
Instead of being a beaten wife.
I left to be me,
I am now free.


  • by Candice Martin

Can't see them-
But they are there.
Hiding deep within-
These emotional scars that I bare.
Brought on throughout the years-
By the words you have said.
You knew of my insecurities and fears-
And used them to get inside my head.
Demeaning and degrading me however you could You claimed tough love is what I needed anyway.
It was for my own good-
But I can no longer take it; now I must walk away.
These invisible scars no one else sees-
But they are not invisible to me.
You made sure there were never any physical signs-
Yet the emotional scars are there to stay.
At least bruises eventually fade-
Still, my scars I can find.
That is shy now I must put an end to this Hell!
Each one has their own story to tell-


  • by HEART Group

You say you love me
But lovers don't hit
So why don't you quit?
Nobody understands
What it is like to be hit by your man
I felt tired and alone
And just wanted a safer home
One day I became tough
I just had enough
So I ran away
Looking for a happier day
I thought I was nothing
But it turns out I was something
To this day
I can say
I'm OK!


  • by Candice Martin

Captivated by your charm-
Shackled by your chains.
Empty promises of no harm-
But bruises still remain.

Degraded by your words-
Lifted up then let down.
Never really seen nor heard-
Merely knocked around.

One day too long-
Is what I stayed.
But you were just too strong-
And on my weakness you preyed.


For me,
It happened after the soft bud dried and cracked.
There was disorientation first
And an aching for real hunger.
All I knew was spring
With its promise, fame and renown.
All I knew was a taste.

Disoriented, I saw a face.
Its eyes were rapt and a mirror,
Its lips wet and thin.
There were thoughts of bread so I ate them.
There were pictures of wholeness, too.
I copied them, wrote on them and painted them over with hopes.

It was my father's voice in the thoughts,
My mother's image in the pictures.
I had never seen nor ever heard
Before the roaming face came.

For me,
It was like a dry flower that breaks.
The face was a lie for the sake of truth,
The lie you have to thank
When you learn it saves you,
When you learn it makes you.
It is the lie that you are beautiful when you are not,
Which is forgiveness.

It makes the liar into a god
And it starts to show:
The flower is dead.
It was always dead. (This is important to remember)

You forget and it takes everything from you.
We desire to celebrate what we know,
But what we know is slavery.

For me,
It had to be told again and again.
I might say I am not,
But I am beautiful.
The bud is crushed
And cannot be restored by slavery.

In freedom you begin to hear the lies,
Which are everywhere,
And you start to pull your brain out your ears.
There is usually bleeding.
There is usually agony.

If this dry, perfect dust can be valued,
Then existence has done it
With flowers,
With skin.

For me,
There is one day that matters,
One face and one voice.
I am the mirror here to tell you the lie
That can save you.

*Why *

In the beginning my why was

an angry rant at God.

My attempt to hold him accountable

for my childhood

Later, why was a measure

of my self loathing.

Why am I still wearing

this damn "pick me" sign?

For a time I gave up on why

and just accepted.

Everything in my life created

who I am, brought me here.

Now, why is a reminder

there is always more work to be done.

Why is what brought many of us

to the aid of victims.

Why is the story we tell

that helps another begin to heal.

Why is what moves us

from victim to survivor.

Let Me Tell You How

Something is happening
That I do not understand.
I am here next to you
Because you are my family now.
You are for me,
that is what you have said.

"He offered me wine," I begin.
I want to tell you how it happened,
But you pound the walls
With your fists
And you stare at your knuckles,
How your hands are bleeding now.
I try to begin again.
This time without words,
I reach for you.
You are rigid in my arms,

"I will not touch you again."
You tell me to call him.
Ask him if he is healthy.
Ask the man who raped me
If he is healthy.

I want to tell you how I feel.
But my feeling is in my body,
My body.
My body
You will not touch.
The woman at the clinic
Who answers my questions
Tells me we cannot know for months.
I am awake for four weeks.<

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