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Image by Drew Beamer

The snake I did not see

I saw a snake when I was out walking

Through the bushes and treks of the wild

I recognised it easily where it lay on the path

With its bright green blaze and gleaming eyes.

It raised a venomous head and coiled its body tightly

I would not let this fiend get me

I stomped my feet and shook my fist

And the snake slithered away

And I felt brave and clever for scaring off pain


I did not see the snake outside my home, 

On the path I had walked so many times before

I did not see as its body shifted smoothly and silently

It did not strike or hiss or even disturb a single ground

It plied me with lovely wiles 

And I opened the door and let it in

Never suspecting it could happen to me

And by the time I realised it was there 

Pain was my world and pain was where I lived



I saw the most vulnerable of my kind cast out for their inadequacies 

Abandoned monsters hiding in mangers

Only glimpsing the firelight made for others


Their love had been spilled on the ground

Pearls that sank into the muck


Some forged a way forward

They moulded their rage and sharpened their tongues

I saw them bite and gnash and carve out a place in the ice


I saw more give in

The water welcomed and embraced and loved them

Some gave out, defeated

They stare blankly at me from the walls where they darken


What horrors we visit upon those that shame us

How quickly we abandon those that are misshapen


I feel my sisters and mothers all around me

A line of monstrous women going back to the beginning

I see their outlines

Their fingers trail through my hair with a love that welcomes and embraces

Their pain is my trauma


A howl of anguish that will never fade

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