Silent Scream

The following poem has come into being as a result of my comments being twice rejected by the editor of an Australian newspaper blog. The article was titled Where do faith and state separate? This article ‘spoke’ of the alleged suicide of 35 young men who had been victims of sexual abuse by a catholic priest and brother. As a result of the rejection of my first comment I wrote a second that asked, Where do faith and the media separate? It would appear to be when one criticises the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, as this comment has also been rejected. It’s time for the voice of the abused child to be heard.

Silent Scream 

She could still hear the thwack
Of the black belt
Experience the terror of waiting
For the strap to strike childhoods skin
Feel again the anguish
Of a voice unheard
Determination and a need for justice
Lived in that young child
“You’re not hurting me, I didn’t do anything wrong”
She cried each time the leather lashed
This time her supposed crime
Refusing to eat a slice of bread with mould on it
As soon as she heard the words
“Go to the bathroom.”
She knew
The belt that held the rosary beads
Would again be used 
For purposes unholy
Fifty years on
The pain of physical abuse
Has subsided
But the anguish 
In her subconscious
The silent scream
Rises up
When her voice is once again
Tricia 14/12/2011

About triciabertram

I have written all my life. Writing helps me to make sense of a world I often don’t understand. Poetry is my supreme solace, closely followed by literature and music. When my son ended his life in 1999 I embarked on the most difficult journey of my life, my grief journey. To survive in this unknown, harsh landscape I had to write. It was for me, the only way I could even begin to move forward. Then in 2009 my darling husband died suddenly and so my journey continues. I write about other issues but because of my life experience, grief and death are continuing themes in my writing life. In our culture I believe there is a fear of death, an inability to accept the inevitability of our mortality, and this creates enormous difficulties for the bereaved and those around them. I have begun this blog in the hope I will create a small ripple in the pond of fear that is currently drowning the reality of death and grief. I will continue to skim the stones of my truth, watch them bounce, and see how many ripples I can make.

Posted on December 14, 2011, in Poems and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Shout it loud, Tricia. I try to avoid the feeling of hate, but I struggle when it comes to those creatures. And they dare to claim their morals are better than ours!

  2. Jo today was a win for poetry. Although they reufsed to publish my comments, they did publish my poem. I think I’ll work on a piece tomorrow about the power of poetry.

  3. Thanks Eric for taking the time to comment.
    For some reason I found your comment in the spam folder. It took a while, but I figured out how to unspam you.

  4. Your grief has turned to power energy. Keep writing! Please see my poem “It’s Not Every Day”, similar subject matter.

  5. Thanks for commenting and sharing your poem with me P P

  6. Long John Silver

    Put your comment here & I’ll copy & paste and submit it under my name (with a short disclaimer added so I’m not plagiarising). Maybe others could do the same? I envision something like an “I am Spartacus!” campaign where they keep getting the same comment under different names. I think it was only stopped because Dick outsourced the moderating – given the stuff he usually lets through I reckon it’s worth a try!


  7. Long John Silver

    p.s. Loved the poem (as usual) but obligatory pedantic blogger complaint: “She new” should be “She knew” 🙂

    • Thanks Pirate, not pedantic at all. I am grateful for all such comments. My husband used to edit all my work as I have this habit of seeing my writing as it is in my head, and often miss errors like this on the page.

  8. I put aside this morning to read your blog. And having done so, I cannot breathe —- but in a good way. Can it be “good” not to be able to breathe?

    And yet, I think, because you are I are connected, even though there is an ocean between us (and now also lake, as I sit at Bob’s new – new to him – condo, which is on the shores of a small lake), you will understand that this type of not-being-able-to-breathe is… is…okay. Your poetry is amazing – AMAZING. You touch my soul. Your words, and the feelings they evoke inside, fill my, fill every part of me, including my lungs.

    • My dear friend, i was just rolling through my blog making sure i’d not previously posted a poem and realised i had not replied to your comment.

      Nancy you have been such a beacon of encouragment to my writer self. Many of my earlier poems are more as a result of your affirming, constructive input.

      It’s three years since you, Rod and I shared what for me was a mythical White Christmas, and you went out in the early hours of Christmas morning to bring a new life into the world.

      I will always value your comments on my words.
      Hugs across the oceans

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