Note to my fellow travelers: A significant and meaningful part of my healing journey involves confronting my abusers through my writing. Here is one such poem.
Dear Great-Great Grand-Monster:
I don’t know you.
I never met you.
I’m glad I never met you.
But I’ve read some old newspaper clippings:
you and your wife were arrested
on the charge of cruelty to children.
With distress, I read the following:
“The children were found
at the home of their drunken parents,
and showing signs of hard beating.”
I have read many charges against you:
assault and battery,
intent to commit a rape.
You were a predator,
a parasite upon your culture,
a villain to your children –
and countless descendants.
I have also heard:
your youngest daughter
ran away from your home
when she was in her early teens.
She later became my mother’s grandmother.
My mother felt unwanted, unloved.
She married a violent man
and learned to hate men.
She now lives in bitterness
over spoken and unspoken trauma.
And I have lost both my brothers
You violated your sacred duty
to protect your children.
You have abused me and my brothers –
long after your death.
Who violated you?
Was it the U.S. Civil War?
Or did you have a
I know that the insanity goes back to you.
I don’t know how much further back it goes.
Four generations of sick knowledge
is enough for me.
Not only this:
Every generation, you join
with other brutal lineages
to magnify your violence.
The pathology multiplies:
How many descendants
have you abused
long after your death?
How many future generations
must suffer your violence?
How does it end?
Does it ever end?
Yes, I have the POWER
– through a lifelong struggle –
to stop the insanity with me
and my descendants.
But I can’t stop
the wicked bypass around me
through unknown cousins.
This thought is hideous beyond description.
You have committed
and continue to commit
countless acts of soulslaughter –
a century and a half after your crimes.