Wednesday, July 10, 2013


My best guy friend from high school bought me Frances Driscoll's The Rape Poems in college. Driscoll journaled her way into healing, and I think Bryan had the same hopes for me, too.

In the thirteen and a half years of therapy and yoga sessions since then, I am often asked to describe or to go to my safe place. Sometimes one comes easily: a hot tub under a black sky of diamond-like stars, a hammock strung between trees on a beach, Saturday morning cuddles while sunlight streams over crisp linen.

But, always, I think of this poem (Driscoll's) first.


Market Research

My thermal carafe coffeemaker comes
with a 16 page instructional manual and a survey.
Do you or anyone in your household
own or plan to purchase:
a cordless handheld vacuum, a smoke alarm, a rechargeable light.
To help us understand our customers' lifestyles
please indicate the interests and activities
in which you or your partner enjoy participating
on a regular basis:
vegetable gardening, fashion clothing, casino gambling, group therapy.
Please check all that apply to your household:
support health charities, purchase items through the mail, train dogs.
My answers will be used anonymously in market research.
My answers will allow me to receive mailings and special offers
that relate directly to my specific interests.
The survey doesn't ask:
Do you have difficulty retaining domestic help.
Do you believe the following are your fault:
your son’s math grades, the dog’s skin condition, failure of the ERA.
Do you open your windows.
When someone knocks, do you open your door.
The survey doesn't ask:
Do you ever anywhere anytime believe yourself safe.
The survey doesn't ask:
Are you in a woman in America.


We all have trigger points:

anniversaries pass
her scent wafts by
a noise startles us
nightmares awake

I sometimes wonder
if I will ever again feel safe
if love's comforting arms will ever stop feeling like they are about to collapse
if unconditional love exists

if any of us ever really heal from 
the worst moments of our lives
the worst people we ever were
the worst memories we have

and I have to believe so
because I have to believe in forgiveness.

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