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Photo by Laura L

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

...Robert Frost


Photo by Laura L

Teddy, I've been bad again,
My Mommy told me so;
I'm not quiet sure what I did wrong,
But I thought that you might know.

When I woke up this morning,
I knew that she was mad;
‘Cause she was crying awfully hard,
And yelling at my dad.

I tried my best to be real good,
And do just what she said;
I cleaned my room all by myself,
And I even made my bed.

But I spilled milk on my good shirt
When she yelled at me to hurry;
And I guess she didn't hear me,
When I told her I was sorry.

‘Cause she hit me awfully hard, you see,
And called me funny names;
And told me I was really bad,
And I should be ashamed!

When I said, "I love you, Mommy,"
I guess she didn't understand;
‘Cause she yelled at me to shut my mouth.
Or I'd get smacked again.

So I came up here to talk to you,
Please tell me what to do;
‘Cause I really love my Mommy,
And I know she loves me, too.

I don't think my Mommy means
To hit me quite so hard;
I guess sometimes, grown-ups forget.
How big they really are!

So Teddy, I wish you were real,
And you weren't just a bear;
Then you could help me find a way
To tell Mommy's everywhere.

So please try hard to understand
How sad it makes us feel;
The outside pain soon goes away,
But the inside never heals!

And if we could make them listen,
Maybe then they'd understand;
So other children just like me,
Wouldn't have to hurt again.

But for now, I guess I'll hold you tight,
And pretend the pain's not there;
I know you 'd never hurt me,
I love you ...
So Goodnight ...Teddy Bear!

~ Cindy Pike Dunning

Today there will be silence

Today there will be silence mom,
no crying will you hear.
I didn't mean to anger you,
I just wanted you near.

Today there will be sleep again,
I won't cry out in vain.
The nights I needed comforting,
were filled with hurt and pain.

How could someone so big and strong,
strike out at little me?
I was a gift, your little girl,
unwanted now, I see.

Today there will be love at last,
l on angels wings I'll soar.
Way up high, above the clouds,
through heavens golden doors.

So momma, say a prayer for me,
for the life I'll never know.
I just wish you could have cared for me,
for I would have loved you so..

(c) 1999 Sherry Gautreau All Rights Reserved


The Silent Child

She sits alone in her room
and wipes away her tears
Hiding beneath the covers
so no one else hears ~
She wraps them tight around her
to shut out all her pain
Praying if there is a God
to make her safe again.

She snuggles deep into her bed
holding the covers tight
Cuddling her little teddy bear
she leaves on the light ~
She waits for the assurance
that all has gone to bed
Then settles into slumber
so she can dream instead.

She wakes at the sound of footsteps
walking down the hall
Then he stops outside her room
and opens up the door ~
She shivers with her childlike fear
as she starts to cry
Knowing what he has come here for
though she doesn't know why.

He tells her she is special
that she's his little girl
As he pulls back the covers
into her silent world ~
He says that it's their secret
the special game they play
For no one else would understand;
they'd just take him away.

She lay there in her silence
with her clothes on the floor
Trying not to think of it
as the tears slowly fall ~
She hears the clock ticking
as her mind drifts away
Her teddy bear beside her
where he also lay.

She wonders why he comes to her
in the middle of the night
When he should be with mummy
holding her so tight ~
She listens to him tell her
that she will be to blame
If anyone discovers
their special secret game.

She pulls up the covers
as he rises from her bed
Tweaking at her little nose
and kissing her forehead ~
She watches as he dresses
as he tells her once again
This is their little secret;
she mustn't say a thing.

She watches as he leaves her room
and closes the door
And listens for his footsteps
walking back down the hall ~
Then she cuddles up to teddy
and cries her silent tears
Beneath her soiled covers
so no one else can hear.

And as she lay in her silence
with her tear-filled eyes
Each time that he comes to her
a part of her dies ~
So she curls up in her bed
and hugs her teddy tight
And prays that he will never
come to her again at night.

  Christina  29th March, 2001




Who's A Prisoner?
Do you know what it is like
To feel protected
Only in the presence
Of closed shades
And locked doors
And even then at times feel unsafe?
Daddy walks around
Going to wherever he may please.
I was once the prisoner,
Yet he still holds the keys.
The law says he can't harm me
And the time goes slowly by.
Do they know the torture that's still present
With every tear I cry?
I can't tell them how much
It hurts me
To know they let him roam.
Do they know I'm still imprisoned
In a place I should call home.
The law they say was made to protect me
And yet it's so unfair.
The victim waits and cries for justice
As abusers roam and breathe the air.

By Victoria R. Kelly
      Survivor and One of our Heroes


Silent Tears

Looking back on a time and place

Seeing a child's innocent face

Knowing that things aren't as they appear

For inside she cries silent tears

Deep inside she is filled with pain

She feels dirty and full of shame

Innocence lost at a very young age

Locked this child in a pain filled cage

There is no freedom or escape

From the fact this child was raped

While the guilty man is roaming free

This child is sentenced to eternity

Eternity locked away with all this shame

She can't help but feel that she was to blame

Even though common sense says it was not her fault

She can't seem to help from having these thoughts

What ifs' keep running through her mind

She keeps going back to those moments in time

If there isn't something different she could have done

Why didn't she scream or at least try to run

Fear kept her frozen to the spot

While this grown man did what he should have not

Shame and fear made her keep the silence

Kept her telling anyone about the violence

The thing that is shocking beyond belief

Is that this child could not get any relief

The same thing happened again and again

The first one was just how it began

More than one man did his worst

None of them caring about the child they hurt

After the first time was it easy to tell

Was it her pain and shame they could smell?

With every touch a part of her died

Now she is in a prison that has no gate

Every one of them sealing her fate


Daddy's Girl

Daddy's Girl listened
   and Daddy's Girl lied
for Daddy's Girl kept secrets
   and Daddy's Girl cried

Daddy's Girl remembered
     the feelings that she hid
it cut right through her daydreams
    of being 'just a kid'

then Daddy's Girl grew older
   (at least that's how it seemed)
Daddy's Girl could sometimes smile
   but inside, how she screamed

Daddy's Girl got married
   it seemed the only way
but when she left her Daddy's home
   the feelings didn't stay

pretending was a full-time job
   the lies, they took their toll
no amount of prayers could save
   what Daddy went and stole

so Daddy's Girl hid deeper
   within the world she made
and all the secrets in the world?
   she'd take them to her grave

because Daddy's Girl kept secrets...



Daddy says come and sit on my knee
Daddy says youre the only girl for me
cos amelia, youre daddys favourite girl
Amelia, daddy loves his little girl

Daddy comes in the dark of night
Daddy say dont be scared, itll be alright
Amelia, daddy hates to see you cry
Amelia, youre the apple of daddys eye

Daddy says dry your tears and give me a smile
Daddy says if youre good Ill hold you awhile
cos amelia, youre daddys precious girl
Amelia, daddy loves to love his little girl

daddy, tell me daddy,
Is this really love?

Daddy says dont tell mama what I do to you
Daddy says if you do Ill beat you black and blue
cos amelia, you make daddy feel like a man
Amelia, daddy loves you more than mummy can

daddy, tell me, daddy,
How can you call this love?

Damn your daddy to hell

                 Hushed Little Baby Lullaby


Hushed little baby, no more will you cry

But our hearts have been broken we can’t understand why

God would take a sweet innocent away from this life

And cause us such anguish, sadness and strife


Hushed little baby, we remember with a sigh

The moments of happiness swallowed by good-bye

And we ache from the loss of the future we planned

With you little child, holding our hand


We are so sorry, so sorrowful

Melancholy has stolen the melody

From our lullabies

As we question our faith and beg to the skies

“Please God help me,

help me to understand”


Hushed little baby, it’s time for us to cry

To life’s bitter sweet lullaby

Never will you feel the pain we do

Nor cry for your child, or seek what is true


Hushed little baby, cradled by heaven

Never to be tarnished or tempted by sin,    

A beautiful Angel I can now see

Is what God created You to be


A revelation sits at the core of our hearts

That direction exists in all earthly charts

Including the ones written that map out our lives

In the plan God created in heaven’s archives


Hushed little baby, with angels you play

And other loved ones who proceeded your way  

You were not ours to own or save

and briefly, yet bravely, understanding you gave


Hushed little child, we know what is true

That we will not heal from the loss of you

And that is the way God meant it to be

This cross we will carry, salvations not free


Lullaby and goodnight sweet angel in heaven

On borrowed time we walk the path we were given

And smile knowing that goodness is the price we’ll pay,

to see you again someday


                                      Laura L. 7/06/06

I held them in my arms. I held them in my heart.
     I promised to protect them, and never would I part. 
I watch them live and laugh and learn
     Never imagined how life would soon turn.
It was a warm winter day, I remember it well.
     Their dad was angry and began to yell.
Had he been drinking and again was he drunk?
     He screamed in my face, how his breath stunk.
That’s when I saw everything change in a flash.
     He threw our son across the room just like he was trash.
I couldn’t take it anymore I knew I must go.
     I packed in a hurry but felt I was moving too slow.
The kids and I ran, we ran away fast,
     We rushed in a hurry to make him our past
But the judge says his rights trump my tears.
     They had to go see him regardless of fears.
For months and for years we were in front of the judge,
     But it was never enough and the court would not budge.
From band aids, bruises, broken bones and a split head,
     I prayed every night as I laid them to bed.
Four years and one month from that warm winter day,
     A call from the school asked me to come right away.
My children had been dropped off by their dad.
     My daughter was scared from the weekend she’d had.
The teacher said she could not get her to sit in her chair.
     She was dirty and smelly with grease matted hair.
I asked her what happened that she was acting so poor.
     She revealed that her father had beaten her with an oar.
In the nurse’s office I suddenly came to understand.
     I feel to my knees, to shocked and shaken to stand.
My daughter pulled up her shirt revealing what was below.
     The bruises all over her body, my anger and fear began to grow.          
Doctors, policemen, and courtrooms, again we returned.
     A whirlwind of action that would soon fail us I learned.
The system is broken my lawyer revealed.
     It no longer provides our children a shield.
Half a year would go by before enough would be done.
     The damage to my daughter was revealed by my son.
They put their hands on her body is what he told me.
     The things he was forced to witness and see.
Two boys under age so no action was taken.
       Justice for my daughter would again be forsaken.
Who is supposed to protect those that are loved and adored?
     To sacrifice them to such a fate we cannot afford.
So their father was abusive and that wasn’t enough.
     I’ve been ignored too long I am calling their bluff.
Sexual abuse gives things a whole new definition.
     I am done being silent I have been called on a mission.


Trapped by Jenna Kandyce Linch-Rancifer

With a smile on her face she gets through the day
Making everyone around her believe she's okay.
It's better if they think nothing is wrong
Pushing everything aside, she tries to be strong.

What's going on at home she must not tell
So no one knows that every night she's put through hell.
She manages to hide the bruises out of sight
Painful reminders of her defenseless fight.

At night her house becomes a terrifying battlefield
Where to her father's abuse she's forced to yield.
Into a living nightmare her life has turned
For someone so young hard lessons she has learned.

Feeling trapped she longs for a way out
But her hopes slowly gives into doubt.
Laying in bed she cries herself to sleep
Wondering how long these painful secrets she can keep.

She feels helpless as she hears her mother get beat
Although he tops, of this night there will be another repeat.
Sitting in a corner of her room, she stares at the wall
Wishing there was someone she could call.

Her feelings and emotions she locks deep inside
Knowing there will be more trouble if in someone she dares to confide.
Staring back at her in the mirror is a haunting reflection
Of a girl who has had to live a life of deception.

Why is the question constantly on her mind
As she searches for the hope and faith she can't seem to find.
She thinks she's done something to deserve this pain
The will left in her to keep fighting starts to drain.

By her father she only yearns to be loved
Instead to the ground she's continuously shoved.
She's getting closer to fading from existence
Will anyone even notice her absence?

From the merciless beatings she can't protect herself anymore
Trying to rise to her feet, she sees she is losing this war.
Soon this nightmare will be finished
For a better life free from pain was all she ever wished.

Lying on the cold floor, she breathes her last breath
A fragile young soul cruelly caught in the hands of death.
This life of pain and abuse she didn't choose
But to its cruel game her precious life she did lose.


Daddy and I have secrets, and I don't know why, and when I want to tell mommy, he say's I'll make her cry...........

I try to be real quiet, not even breathing like i'm there, but then I hear daddy, and I say a little prayer..............

I turn my face into my pillow not wanting to look at my dad, but I'm afraid if I don't, he'll get really mad.............

What he does hurts, and he hits me when I whimper and cry, I had to go to school yesterday with a broken nose, and black eye............

I always wonder about mommy, and why she never says a thing, except for when I'm bad, she yells and hits me until my ears ring................

I always clean my room, and even feed the dog, I take care of my little brothers, and talk alot to God.............

God never answers me, but I know he must be real, I ask him every night to help me, but pain is all I feel...........

I finally told mommy, and daddy beat me black and blue, I cried out for my mommy, but she was crying too.............

My little brother has a bruise on his cheek, but I didn't do it mommy, I swear, I see my daddy smack him again, and it knocks him out of his chair..............

While eating, my little sister made a mess, but she's not even one, my daddy hit her so hard, that her head fell back and swung............

My mommy told my gramma that daddy hits her and me, he did it for the first time when she was going to have me...........

I had a little brother who was older than me, but he's in heaven with God where I wish I could be...............

I always wish on stars, and search for a four leaf clover, I heard gramma say they are lucky, so maybe when I find one, all of this will be over..............

I got screamed at again, and slapped hard too, my mommy took the belt and hit me with the buckle and daddy's Navy shoe...........

I was taken to the doctor today, but they just put a cast on me, no one ever wonders why this has to be.............

Are all mommies and daddies like this I wonder, I think I'll ask my friend, but not until daddy's done, he put my clothes on top of the fridge.............

I know I shouldn't wish to go to heaven, my sister and brothers need me too much, as long as I'm here, I'm the only one daddy will touch............

Dear Lord, how could you send us here, don't you hear us cry? Here comes daddy down the hall, but God still hasn't told me why..................

Copyright Dr. Julie Soule' 1999 (used with permission)

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