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Painful Silence

Ariel 1967 (California)

Am I innocent? Do I not share the guilt?
Perhaps the family is right;
Maybe I did give up too easily.
They cannot understand why I will not forget,
Why I refuse to forgive
And maintain the silence;
As if I must always pay the price of compliance.
They cannot understand why,
If I surrendered before,
Why I will not do so now at their insistence.
They seek to protect him
From his poisoned results,
As they protected their baby from him, by sacrificing me.
I am tired of having
To pay the price for others,
And sacrificing my worth to protect the painful silence.
The pain has become hungry,
And devoured my innocence;
I want to end its insidious feasting on my mind.
I was a good girl;
I was obedient, complacent.
It was what was silently demanded of me,
As if it was my punishment.
It was easier to accept
That somehow it was caused by something wrong in me.
My pleas were ignored.
The family chose not to know,
For it would mean that he was not perfect, not the hero.
And I did not fight;
Deep down, I too
Needed a hero in a family where I could not trust.

About this poem

Published in Through the Eyes of Women: an International Collage, Chemeketa Press 1992

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Written on May 01, 1991

Submitted by Ariel on September 19, 2021

1:01 min read


Ariel is a full-time Pacific Northwest poet, often participating at Oregon Open Mics events. She has been published in Gold Man Review, AIM, The Widow’s Handbook, and most recently in Terra Incognita, On The Platform Waiting and Free From Monsters. Ariel often collaborates in many Willamette Valley poetry/art projects and is a member of Oregon Poetry Association, Mid-Valley Poets Association, Willamette Writers and Poet. Her website is poetariel.net. more…

All Ariel poems | Ariel Books

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    "Painful Silence" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 23 Jan. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/109931/painful-silence>.

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