#NaPoWriMo: Day 13


There were many terms
for what happened.
They’re the words
the women won’t mention.
Those factory girls torn
from their hanging bed sheets
to be thrust into crowded rooms.
Then the questioning. The silent
prayer to live past the afternoon.
There are pasts that can’t
be looked at.
All that good food wasted.
All those dreams of escape

There were windows
covered in soot.
Crumpled fingertips
drew caricatures as shuffling
boots spelled out fear underfoot.
There were tough choices.
Children’s voices. Weeping.
Fitful sleeping.

They’re keeping
hearts in jars and in vintage
photo frames now.
The ladies’ faces
have never looked the same.
And no one speaks his name.
Onlookers wonder
about the psyches torn asunder.

Yet, they walk on. Strong
by silence, keeping terror quiet.
Not meeting a single steely eye
because a glance is just
something else to be taken.
This is a
best forgotten history.
This is what it is
to be shaken.

Published by Jennifer Patino


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