The Courage of the Coward

I wrote this poem exactly one month ago. I was meditating on what I needed to say to my mother to release the pain I had been carrying in my heart. It is said by mental health professionals that one of the key indicators of a child’s healing from abuse or an assault is the response of their mother. If their mother was reactive and got the child help as soon as she knew what happened, the child would recover in a healthier manner. Not that there is a real healthy way to deal with childhood trauma, but they can heal and be as close to ‘normal (as defined by society, everyone has their own definitions) as they can. However, if the mother ignores or silences the child, the child will take longer to heal, if they ever can get closure. So, I sat down and wrote a poem to my mom from my perspective as a teenager. Maybe someone can relate to feeling unheard by their mothers. And maybe a mother who has a child that experienced violence at the hands of someone else can read this and see the perspective of their child. No one should ever feel alone when experiencing trauma, because until they are able to talk about it in a healthy manner, they are still experiencing the abuse everyday. So let’s grow together and never allow a child to feel ostracized by the abuse they experienced.

Courage of the Coward

June 22,2019



Go against the grain

That was how I was raised

Everyone is unique and different

Try to swim against the current

But who really has the courage?

to stand against their barrage

Could you stand against

them without recompense?

Could you stand for right?

even when consumed with fright?

Could you speak against the shadows?

Could you be at peace with what followed?

I am the strongest person I know,

That isn’t a brag, it is just so.

But even then, I doubt

If the consequences were worth speaking out


You said to stand up for what I believed in

But somehow that didn’t cover my sin

I am nothing if not myself

that is why to fear I was deaf

I could not stand idly by

and help you cover a lie

all the quotes in the world

could not hide what you next hurled  

What is done in the night

will always come to the light

It is always darkest before the dawn

Especially when I refused to be your pawn.

Was it stupid or brave?

that the next victim I wanted to save

After the transmission, I thought I was too dirty

For the next girl, the next time, I worried


You demanded that I forgive and forget

but these crimes I could not abet

You were more angry at my disobedience

But I will offer no repentance

How can you go with the flow

knowing what you know?

Embarrassed, you kept silent and hid

My vocal bravery you condemned.

While I faced my fear

It was me you rejected and smeared


The fact that a young woman

faced the darkness of you with one lumen

You hated that I brought to light

The ungodliness that was done in the night

It never mattered that I was your child,

Because your attachment to me was mild

You hated me for ruining your image

Because your reputation the truth blemished.

While you hid behind mercy scriptures

You had hidden all my pictures

I was a child who you shunned

But to him, the adult, you clung

Though a sinner, He was such a good man

The daughter you chose you banned

Even though all I wanted was you to hear

Of how I was consumed with fear

I have lived everyday believing I was the coward

By your silence I felt overpowered


Even after all these year I wonder

If I did the right thing or blundered.

But how could I be me

if against this abuse I didn’t speak

How could I live in silence

knowing another could experience that violence

How could I turn a blind eye

To another crying my same cry

All I have ever desired

Was for that to have never transpired

How could I ignore my own little inner voice

How could I ever not make the same choice

To admit my own transgressive rough

That only your approval I sought

IF I could only turn back time

To that pain I would never again resign

I would tell me to have courage and to be brave 

So I could be the girl I save

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