Menu Close

May 23

I’ve been

You ask me of the places I have been.
I tell you I did most of my traveling
in my early, formative years.
And like most travelers, I’ve learned from then

Let me tell you where I’ve been.

I’ve been
frightened by my first sights
by nightmares that found me
screaming in the night
by the large, luminous distortions
of my childhood reality
by falling, drowning in a pool
then being saved
by my uncle drowning
by a man who was howling
in our living room
whose wife had left him
and his children
we as children, standing
saying nothing
what could we say?
by the burned in image
of a woman hanging by a rope
in our living room
when I was three
on our tv
by a man who once brought a rope to our door
watching me
watch tv

Ive been
lashed out by the sharp edge of a tongue
Ive been bleeding from the sharp cut of silence
I’ve been
around the sharp end of a belt
made to be afraid of weapons
that have made their way toward me
threatened at knifepoint
frightened by a gun
I’ve been approached by a neighbor
who used to show himself to young girls
they said he was harmless
and then he used to touch young girls
and then they wondered why
I would always bring
my growling german shepard
out of animal instinct
whenever he
would try
approaching me

I’ve been
where men have been
placed on a pedestal
perched on the aching back
of some woman that I have loved
I’ve been where women have committed
themselves with their vows
committed their lives
committed their blood
lost count of their blood
lost count of their days
lost count of themselves
until they
finally lost themselves
and had to

I’ve been
screamed at by someone who told me
he wanted to spend
the rest of his life living
harmoniously with me
before he screeched
out of my driveway
and out of my life
in the middle of the night at 17

I’ve been rejected by young love
holding a scarf around my neck
a little too tight
through my tears just to see
Ive been
crying alone
over my broken heart
looking out the pain of my window
through the falling curtain of my tears
what on earth am I doing now
what on earth am I thinking now
why am I on this earth at all
why am I
thinking all of these
thoughts once again.

but before,
the places I have been
have been too much for me
I realize
that I have always been
in the arms of some other
mother, father, sister, brother
friend of lover
who has always loved me
in one way or another
since the day that I was born
I’ve had someone to love me
to whisper goodness in my ear
to sit down beside me
and brush away my tears
to hold my hand
and be my friend

I’ve been
told that I was loved
no matter what
and that has been
just enough
to get me through
some of the places
I have been

— Cheryl Perreault

Sponsored by