A Poem: Forced Entry

He broke into me-

stole something.

Brazen thief


never charged with forced entry,

and no one sees the bruise prints

the scratch marks on my spirit-


these don’t make police reports.

The dignity missing from my step

doesn’t qualify as physical evidence.


I shake when I see him.

Only my homegirls seem to notice.

His boys’ mantra is lying bitch.

They mutter it with machete-sharp eyes,

occasionally one rouses himself to say it


lying bitch


and for the first time,

I see these men not as men


but terrorists in training, camouflaged

bombers on the ground floor of truth

taking dynamite to tis foundation.


I see myself as a prisoner of war.

An exile, a survivor.

I wish this wasn’t my story


but it it is,

a million times over,

and just when I think it has gone away

it reappears at my doorstep

in another woman’s face

or on the ten o’clock news


and although I have loved men since,

maybe another sister can’t,

so this our story


and it will be ours

until we don’t have to claim it anymore,

until women from Brooklyn to Oakland to South Africa

can sit back in amazement and say


I can’t believe such things ever occurred


until the word rape

can be wiped out from vocabularies,

stamped out of our memories.

Until then, this will be our story

and wounded eyes will tell it

even when we don’t.


Copyright © 2011 by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie published by permission of poet; and previously published in Listen Up! and Karma’s Footsteps


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One thought on “A Poem: Forced Entry

  1. Though I have not been raped, I identified with the raw emotions displayed in the poem. I am a survivor of domestic abuse and I felt those emotions while I was in that abusive relationship. I no longer am and feel like I am brand new and look forward to life ahead.

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