Forgiven, not forgotten

He touched me
Smiled and plied
alcoholic persuasion
banking on
lessons drilled into my psyche
sealed with bolts
guilt, remembered pain
That elders knew best
No was never an option
What I wanted was inconsequential

But to me, no was the only option
So I
Gathered the tatters of my will
The ashes of my spine
Steady under a mantle of shame I assumed
Retreating to the inky world
Where good things come to those who wait.
and I forgave him
Because
He hadn’t hurt me physically
but he could have.

She didnt understand it
Thought by my reaction that this was welcomed
Lack of fear, this had been invited
But her blows caused more destruction
Than he could ever have achieved.
Her words, poisoned by anger, hurt, and distrust
More effective than  lethal injection.

The child I was died that night
Hung by the neck in the closet
Next to her favorite jacket by a silk bathrobe tie
The adult I became was born that night
When the noose gave way.

On my knees, gasping painfully
And the world spun back into focus.
I forgave him.
But it took me a long time
To forgive her.

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