This was written for NaPoWriMo #7: Nicknames over at Read Write Poem. I decided to do a darker take of the prompt, more along the lines of an alter ego idea. I should warn readers that this poem deals with a sensitive subject (sexual abuse) — I namely do this to avoid accidentally triggering any survivors who read my blog.


she looks in the mirror and wonders
where he is
those nights
when the screaming grows so loud
that it fills up her throat, pours out of her mouth,
and expands to fill the room
from wall to wall
she prays

that maybe her mass of screams will grow so large
to push furniture to the walls
stuff the closet
pin her bed to the floor
and be a hard black bubble
pushing the walls out
making them buckle
and you know it’s there because you
can’t get through the doorway
then maybe
she will never feel those rough hands
on her chest ever again –
you see

sometimes changing into a boy
is easier than bearing the burden
of a girl who prays almost nightly
for the mattress to swallow her
when she hears heavy feet in the hallway
outside her bedroom door
a goosestep Nazi march signaling her nightly death
when the stars outside her window
look away and pretend not to see
while she is caught in the gas chamber
of hot sick breath upon her skin
she prays
that maybe one night, she will
and leave a real corpse on the mattress

for now
she changes into a boy
his name is Jack
Jack piles his hair into a knitted black cap
traces his eyes with black pencil
hoping that these borderlines
will dam up rivers of tears
hides invisible scars swimming
beneath his unbroken skin
under liquid black leather
and zippers gaping with metal teeth –
he’s armed

and ready
and silently
somewhere beneath this fool’s armor
barely touching the border between
conscious mind and unthought territories
is the hope
that someday he will grow up
and protect her

Written 4/7/09
© 2009 Nicole Nicholson. All Rights Reserved.

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About ravenswingpoetry

I am a 38 year old writer from Columbus, OH and the creator of Raven's Wing Poetry. I am a poet, seeker, fellow traveler, and autistic.
This entry was posted in Lent 2009 Challenge Poems, NaPoWriMo 2009, Poems, Prompt Poems and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Jack

  1. angie says:

    very moving and powerful…

    I like the image of the alter-ego being the one to “grow up/and protect her.”

    Reading through the poems today, it strikes me how this prompt turned negative and dark for many of us. 😉

  2. rob kistner says:

    I enjoyed reading this – its quite powerful Nicole…
    Come meet Ziggy

  3. great..enjoyed this lso

  4. Pam says:

    Very powerful. I am glad you put up the warning– the statistics say 6-7 out of 10 girls have been sexually molested in the US.

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