Abuse by John Holland

She moves in quiet ways.

Always watching you

out of the corner of green eyes

that are as hard to read 

as are any ancient scratches on a cave wall.

She trembles inside the silence

of flesh vaults. 

Cries into unseen pillows.

The beast

who stole her childhood;

those years ago.

Never goes far.

When the dark billows and 

endlessness streams.


His memory tugs fiercely 

on the pigtails of her dreams.

This poem was reprinted from “Under the Dog Star” with the author’s permission.

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