Nor the man a father.
Year upon year, night upon night
of fear of his body on her, inside her.
If she said it, dared to tell of her shame,
who would hear or believe or care?
I listened, finally. She did not have the words
for what had been done.
So much damage. Hurt so very deep.
After ages it seemed, she began to Trust.
She did not know or understand Trust or Truth.
Rides in my car were trusting. Over the causeway to the Island.
She was frightened! Not supposed to go there!
No black people go there, her daddy said!
She saw the ocean for the first time. Her shack was only one-half mile away.
Her breath caught in her throat.
It seemed she had seen Mt. Everest! She ran to it!
Bare, black feet in the cold white sand. Digging her toes in.
At the landing on the river, sitting, just us two,
she, gazing in amazement at its existence in her world,
Trust and Truth became real.
All of her hurt, years of abuse, guilt, shame, treats and loneliness
came flooding out like the falling of the tide.