by Kristine Briese

She sees the look
in the new daddy's eye
and knows what is coming.
She doesn't fight anymore.
As he presses her down
onto the mattress she
slips past herself into

        the pink bedroom where
        her small form is snuggled safely
        under her plaid blanket.
        Her nine stuffed animals are
        lined up on each side of her.
        Her real daddy is sitting
        on the edge of her bed
        with his guitar on his
        knee, strumming softly,
        singing her song:
        "You're the end of the rainbow
        you're my pot of gold..."
        and she knows he will
        sing it again if she asks,
        he'll sing for as long as it takes
        for her to slip into

the shower, scalding water
cascading over her skin as she
scrubs and scrubs and scrubs.


Posted on 04/16/2002
Copyright © 2023 Kristine Briese

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Ann Krischus on 04/09/03 at 10:32 AM

This is such a vivid description of disassociation. It's a very painful topic to read about, but it's important that the story be told.

Posted by Don Coffman on 08/25/03 at 06:22 AM

Saddening and stunning, and captured in verse with exceptional skill that awes me.

Posted by JD Clay on 12/08/03 at 05:57 AM

Great title, Kristine, and a disturbing yet delicately worded version of a most traumatic event. Unfortunately, the mind of an innocent child can not be cleansed after such a crime. Pe4ce...

Posted by Rachelle Howe on 12/18/03 at 06:43 PM

f*ck me. good god. *blinkblink.*

Posted by Agnes Eva on 12/20/03 at 03:20 AM

this one really punches you in the gut. and makes you want to vomit anger and death upon those men

Posted by Sam Roberts on 12/28/03 at 07:41 PM

This is destressing to read..but sometimes the best poems are. It has been beautifully structured but the topic is so unbelievably painful and true, with real emotions, structure makes no difference, this poem has the ability to make people stop and think. That's what matters. x

Posted by Glenn Currier on 02/23/04 at 12:28 AM

What a poignant and painful poem. Dissociation is an imperfect psychic salvation for the abused. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Laura Doom on 06/01/07 at 12:40 PM

Yes - dissociation as facilitation, in absolving one from responsibility, then as a survival mechanism for the other.
Excruciating read, even from this distance - and a significant write.

Posted by Traci Mabats on 02/28/09 at 03:56 AM

yes, you have captured this perfectly. Well done.

Posted by George Hoerner on 12/06/17 at 02:23 AM

Unfortunately, these things occur for more often than we have any idea. I know I really appreciate the write and suspect it was far more difficult to write than we realize.

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