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Believe A Survivor

I wanted to say MeToo

but my lips were frozen with fear,

much the way my body was

in that moment long ago.

Instead, tears leaked sorrow

for the words that couldn't find a voice

and anger bubbled into pain

for the young woman that tried

but couldn't,

that didn't know how,

that felt shame,

that blamed herself,

that was terrified

she was no longer worthy.

I washed you off my skin that night,

into the coffin of my soul

where escape would never be an option,

and the darkness made you invisible.

Even so, there were times you clawed,

desperate to find your way out.

times you begged, repeatedly,

to see the light of truth,

each time only to be nailed down more tightly by me

lest your ugliness mar what I so painstakingly recrafted,

and your damage threaten my power so painfully reclaimed,

yet still so precariously perched.

Now here I am,

like so many other survivors,

standing naked in my truth -

a truth somehow, even now, cloaked in the pain of self-hatred,

masked in the fear of judgement,

marked by men as self-inflicted,

and buried beneath armor questioned as made up.

My inner white dove wails to be released from her prison,

the key to her freedom having been handed to me

by a community of sisters I did not know

but now instantly recognize as family.

Our entombed cries of injustice

jab at us to be heard,

and our femininity's ultimate violation

aches to be relieved and believed,

even though You weren't there,

and You don't know,

and many of us cannot prove it.

The Phoenix within us rises from the ashes of shame,

and our words grasp for their final resting ground in belief,

and our souls cry out assault on megaphones made of solidarity,

and our wounds drip with the promise of change,

and truth spills forth from our mouths,

washing us clean,

and coffins open from the darkness

into the Light of new ears

beginning to hear.

Resistance remains,

and burden of proof is our enemy,

and the weakest of men fight to silence what threatens accountability,

but the brave among us still march

into the new dawn

to fight,


the worthy men who

believe us.

©Chris Colyer

September 26, 2018

Believe a Survivor: Welcome
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