Alexander Averin

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Saturday's Poem

This week has been a very sad one for us all here in mid-Wales. For readers of this blog who not from the UK you may not have heard that there has been an abduction and a murder of a five year old girl, April Jones, in Machyllneth in my own county.  These sort of things just do not happen here.  The response of our community has been amazing and I am so proud of the hundreds of volunteers who have come from miles around to help in the search for April; I am so proud of the Welsh rescue services and the police too.  It is a cliche but my heart goes out to April's family. I have four granddaughters of my own and cannot begin to imagine how April's mother must be feeling. 

The news has been full of children's suffering of late. Prior to that poor child being taken there were stories in the media of the alleged abuse of children by the late Jimmy Saville. This followed the Rochdale Social Services affair which shocked us all. 

Some folk question why adults wait so long to speak of their abuse as children.  Many indeed go to their graves without ever telling a soul.

I was inspired to write a poem.


It is what she wants them to know
but she doesn’t want to tell
and doesn’t want to remember.
It is what her brain won’t  recall
but rather chooses to forget
until triggered, like a failsafe, out of  
its save-from-wounding safety catch.
It is what she needs to say
but which is held instead within,
buried in a store of memories, incurred like fines.
It is what she never understood;
a trauma of troubles, feelings too new,
just hands and touchings, far too strange for understandings
for what in truth is normal to a child
believing touch is touch, is touch, is touch?
Is it really such a slight pain, this silence,
dulled and muffled up against all elements,
carried like convictions in a tally of a life?
Is it now that she is old, yet still that child
that she is dreaming of her deathbed where there may be spilled
a riot of revelations, a telling of all truths
outpoured to all her kin within a testament of tears?
But for now she doesn’t blurt, she doesn’t even whisper of his ways
but turns her face and self away 
and shuts the door on memories of shame,
her frailty and fear still hidden
behind the door that has slipped once more ajar.

Cait O’Connor


Vee said...

Intense...very. Reading sucha poem might be the beginning of many a counseling session. Truth is healing. I am convinced of that. The truth will set us free.

Frances said...

Cait, I thank you yet again for sharing your poetry.

You are a fine writer.

Mac n' Janet said...

Oh what a painful poem, such pain.

Kay G. said...

Your poem is very heartfelt.
May I also tell you that I like your quote by Maya Angelou?

Dave King said...

Yes, it's been a very sad week indeed. Your poem is a fine and apt reminder of what is always amongst us.

Kay G. said...

After I read your poem, I saw a movie last night called "The Boy In The Striped Pajamas" and it was so incredibly sad. The image of the small child hunched downed in the concentration camp is one that you won't forget.
Jaycee Lee Dugard, look up that name, if you get a chance, a very amazing young woman.

Cottage Garden said...

Oh gosh Cait I'm not sure what to say. So many emotions in your poem - sadness, hopelessness, regret. You are indeed a fine poet.

The events of the past week are so sad and shocking. Time and time again we ask ourselves why these things happen, to an innocent child.... its unbearable.

My thoughts are with her family and for your community.


Foxglove Lane said...

So sad, she is in my thoughts, thank you for your words they have just reminded me of how much I care. X

Down by the sea said...

Hi Cait,
Thank you for leaving me a comment and introducing me to you lovely blog. I enjoy reading poems too.

I was quite moved seeing the response from the community yesterday on TV,so sad.
Sarah x

Friko said...

It has been such a painful week. The daily news stories
bring no relief. Every time we switch on we hope for good news, but it never came.

Your poem goes to the heart of the matter.

Pam said...

A powerful poem Cait for such a sad subject. The events you have written about certainly leave deep life-long scars. Healing oneself, even with the aid of others, must be an incredibly difficult and painful journey.

Mouse said...

Oh dear Cait! Your poem touched me in a way that I can't really explain except to say that as one survivor I do understand