Bought for a Price

The devil tried
to kick me out of
Heaven’s forgiving grip

He was thwarted
in his scheme
to tender my pink slip

Jesus, my Redeemer
displayed to my foe
the deed to my soul

Marked paid-in-full
on Calvary’s tree
as written in His scroll

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I missed the last Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub, but I decided I didn’t want to miss it two times in a row. Besides I couldn’t miss #44! So I stole a moment to write this little poem using the work kick as offered by De.

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Unashamedly “Me, Too”

In essence, I’ve been saying “me, too” for many years as I share my story in poetry and prose. But it took a celebrity Tweet to make it go viral.

One of my Facebook friends posted: “#metoo. (God I hate that I have to post that…).” As I’ve seen the Tweets and Facebook posts of friends and family with the #MeToo hashtag, I keep thinking about a paragraph in Chapter One of my unpublished memoir.

I haven’t shared much of the actual memoir on this blog because publishers don’t like to publish material that’s already out there in one form or another. Yet, this paragraph has haunted me today, nagging at me to be shared.

To this day I don’t fully understand why I didn’t tell a soul what Luke* had done. In the 1970s good girls didn’t get themselves into situations where such things could happen. Maybe I thought I had wanted it, like he said. Perhaps I didn’t think anyone would believe me. Even now when I tell the story parts of it seem preposterous and unbelievable.

Why is it that we hate to say that we’ve been sexually assaulted? Why do our stories sometimes seem preposterous and unbelievable even when we’ve lived through them? Why are we afraid to tell?

Typing that last question makes angry to think saying “me, too” requires fearlessness. We have to be willing to face the fear that others won’t believe. But who cares if others believe what we know to be true?

Why is this crime—because sexual assault is a crime committed by the rapist, not the raped—treated differently than robbery or attempted murder or mugging? Victims of those crimes are never afraid to tell what has happened to them. They don’t worry that people will say they are lying, because they know the truth of what happened to them.

Perhaps expecting the perpetrator of a sexual assault to feel ashamed is asking too much. They may not be concerned with the depravity or illegality of their behavior any more than a robber or murderer is.

But let’s stop expecting the victim of a sexual assault to feel ashamed. Let’s stop feeling ashamed of ourselves for having been a victim. Let’s stop believing that to say “me, too” requires bravery, and believe, instead, that it only requires honesty.

And let’s always remember that God knows the truth and He calls each of us Beloved.

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*Luke is not his real name. I’ve changed certain names in my memoir to protect the forgiven (though certainly not innocent).

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Seed of Hope

Hope nestled into crevices of my soul
a minuscule seed waiting to sprout
roots grew deep into the darkness
born of bitterness

Until at last
fragrant flowers of faith
burst forth from the surface
broke open my stony heart
to produce hope and love

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I love De’s choice of the word hope for Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub, that I just had to write another.

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Hope Lives

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8:25 (NIV).

I’ve not yet seen
Peace on earth
Mankind can be mean

Hatred and bitterness
Mar the world
Hearts with hopelessness

Yet I have hope
Lives in my heart
Gives peace to cope

Promises of God
Heal humanity
Broken and flawed

May hope never die

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De is tending the pub at dVerse Poets Pub today, serving up hope by the pint bottle or on draft. Head on over and see the hope-in-44-words the poets have to offer for this Quadrille Monday.

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Déjà Vu Blues

Déjà vu
I’ve answered this email question before
while reading this Quadrille
I’m sure of it
The memory uncanny
The feeling eerie

I think I need
a tad bit of something
to spice things up

Something brand new
to squelch these déjà vu blues

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Mish is running the bar at dVerse Poets Pub today and is calling for spicy Quadrilles. As I read another poet’s Quadrille, while multi-tasking and answering a work email, I had the strangest sensation of déjà vu. So while it would have been easy to write a food-related Quadrille about chili or Texas Skillet Dinner or steak on the Traeger, I decided to go a different direction.

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Stillborn

One of my nieces asked me to write a poem for her good friend who had a miscarriage at 35 weeks. She knows that I’ve had a miscarriage and write poetry, and she said all the ones she could find in cards or online were either too cheesy or didn’t include a faith component.

I told her it would take me a few days to get it done, but as I started chopping vegetables for dinner, this poem began to form in my mind. The Holy Spirit was at work as I wrote these lines; there is no other explanation for how I knew the fourth line was appropriate for her friend’s situation. I decided to share the poem here as a comfort to other women who have lost a child they dearly loved.

Stillborn

I cry out to my Creator
Who knit you in my womb
Standing with a heavy heart
Over your tiny tomb

My soul demands a reason why
But who am I to bid
The God who holds each tear I cry
And in whose palm you’re hid

To restore what He has taken
As if I can see the whole
Instead I praise, unforsaken
Trusting the words of Your scroll

Lord, You know beginning to end
The days we’ll endure this pain
But when one day we, too, ascend
We’ll see our sweet child again

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9/21/17: Shared for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night.

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Free Time

What do you do
with your free time?

I like to write with mine
It’s quite sublime

But free time
is difficult to find
when other add items
to growing to-do lists

Expectations and responsibilities
Favors and reasonable requests
The cost of free time

Blue Heron on the Rogue River

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Other commitments prevented me from writing for Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub yesterday, but I found a wee bit of free time during lunch today to catch up. The word of the day to include in our 44-word Quadrilles is free.

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