We’ve been expecting you
to look inside and see how
long these thoughts have taken to brew.
Some thirty years,
isn’t that what you’d say?
That’s a long, long time for guilt
to grip you with its teeth of clay.
Enter the house,
Shirley. Look all around.
Dig with your hands in the dark
corners where old devils abound.
They will bite you.
They will pinch your fingers
if you try to jerk them out
and poison you with tail stingers.
Under the hill
that still houses your pain
lives the bleak notion that you
should feel shame and shoulder the blame
for all that you
did though under duress
when hard he grabbed at your breasts
then forced himself under your dress.
End it, Shirley.
Now re-button your blouse.
Switch on the light and say “No.
No. No more.” Get out of the house.
Marilyn Rea Beyer has read poetry in public since the 1960s and began writing poems in 2005. She holds a Master’s in Oral Interpretation of Literature from Northwestern University. Now retired, her varied career includes teaching, high tech, folk radio and working as PR Director for Perkins School for the Blind. A native Chicagoan she and her husband, author and filmmaker Rick Beyer, raised their two children in Lexington, Mass.