Always the games. The dares.
He dared me to wear my mother’s wig to town,
To put her clothes on, and her shoes.
To chase my mother with a mummified rat,
And mock her swim stroke,
A fluttery gesture
That foretold sinking.
I wanted to be just like him.
Not like my mother, crying all the time.
I did it all, but he punished me for it.
Bad things happen to bad girls.
One day, I threw a frog into the lake,
Again and again.
I watched it swim to shore a hundred times.
Then, once, it didn’t.
What did I expect? I’d thrown it a hundred times.
I could never go back.
I would never be the girl who hadn’t done that.
I wrote this poem after reading about self-forgiveness. It is one thing to know I was not to blame for wanting love, and that my need for love was exploited, but it is another thing to really feel the truth and beauty and sadness of innocence. That recognition is the love I’ve always wanted and needed.