Forging Memories: A Poem

It was your nervousness that gave you

Away, that signalled to me that I should

Disappear, run away from you, telling me

That being close to you, drawn to you, is

Pain-inducing, it means accepting violence as

An independent pulse in my life, your body

Rendering mine fragile, with the permission

Of a child, I, your daughter, where was I supposed

To go when I saw the red flag lighting up in my face?


The nerve-racked body waking up with rage,

Shouting at objects, impatiently, screaming

At its own body parts, damaging its surroundings,

Kicking things, kicking sons, dropping theatrically

On the floor, mimicking the true suffering of sons,

Rendered invisible, the agony, theirs, ceased to matter.


The stampede of your slippers. Up the stairs.

Death seemed near. The visceral screams that

Your voice could produce. At night, you’d lose it.

The smallest of things led to explosions, she’d listen

To your endless monologues, the waste of a lifetime,

The stamina in your sick

Gut, I tried to fall asleep with the violence you spewed

Into the walls of our house. You lingered in my body.

You drummed against the night.


Standing in front of a red light. I can feel you losing it.

You never cared about the outside world, about perceptions,

Of you, when people didn’t matter, if they mattered to us, you

Laid your demons bare, putting them in danger as well, and for

What, I never got it, your abuse of power just because you

Brought me forth, you always thought you owned me, I owed you,

Judging us from your high horse, the muteness of a rotten love,

The outspokenness of terror, against me, my body, my skin, my hair.


You’d lose it everywhere. I took that with me for a long time.

Days turned into tragedies. Nights turned into nightmares.

Obstacles. You killed your own voice. Your own hate ate your

Vocal cords and turned your mouth rotten, it is visible now, I

Can’t stand the smell, enough of you, I had enough for a lifetime.


Maybe I will find my way towards forgiveness.

Maybe I will succeed to filter out the particles of love

That weren’t destroyed into the process of your destruction

Of me, because I survived. I’m still here.

Maybe I can rid myself of your shadows that you attached

To my heel to survive, to endorse your legacy.

You always thought you did so well.

I always wondered how you could actually believe that.

Manipulation or delusion. Maybe both. You were good at both.

I could never tell you these things because you’d always pretend

That they never happened, that you didn’t know what I was talking about.

You moulded memories, idealising yourself in the process

And you tried to lie to me and my wounds,

Trying to infiltrate in retrospect, voiding my life, my past with you.

Maybe I will find the words to forgive you.

But all that anger and sorrow that I could never release

In reaction to yours, first need to be exhaled and unleashed

Creatively before I can jump straight to forgiveness.

It’s my life you toyed with after all. I understand that.

It takes a few steps to reach the great step.

white petaled flowers
Photo by Evie Shaffer on

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