The Turnaround

Poem by Lori Lopez posted by Lynn C. Tolson

The Turnaround

Following disasters

Unnatural, Man-wrought

The road to survival is eternal

Arduous, rubble-fraught

The aftermath and trauma

Need a lifetime to mend

For such wounds run so deep

That the scars have no end

Only in screaming

Can the bottomless numbth be released

From a dungeon of exile

Where emotions have ceased

Where Justice is deaf

And abusers untried

Thus the victim has kept

Blame and suffering inside

Yet these chains can we obliterate

Hearts and Truth set free

When the silence is broken

From you to me

Transformations will ripple

Forge links more profound

From sharing to caring

We can all turnaround.

Copyright 2009 Lori R. Lopez

I Am A Survivor

I have laughed, lived, loved and lost.

I have cried, mourned, and grieved,

hoped, prayed and healed.

I have found strength and true beauty.


Poetry contributed by Lynn C. Tolson, author of Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor’s Story, to Angela Shelton’s blog The Survivor Manual


Left alone, wet diaper staining the floorboards
I cried and cried and cried
until I stopped.

Without love, without hugs, so cold
I turned inward to seek something else:
to make myself special.

Pain shattered my baby mind
into a thousand bits
‘We’ll make you special,’ said the bits.

They took me to the underworld
fed me pomegranate seeds and mead
and danced around me in the dark.

‘We’re here to keep bad people bad,’ said the bits
and they put me on a pedestal
and crowned me Queen of Hell.

I was their flashlight in the gloom
with batteries that never died,
though I wanted to.

I stood on my pedestal
shackled by the throat
my crown bejeweled, so special.

Singing my soft song: ‘I bravely go
where only darkness grows,’
song of the bird in the gilded cage.

The bits became magnets
to draw in fear and rape
they split and grew many, grew into an army.

My bird soul battered
against its cage of gold,
its special cage. So special.

‘Be free or die,’ sang the bird soul
‘Die,’ said the bits
‘Be Free,’ said I.

Be Free. And with those words
the child’s spell was broken,
the Queen of Hell threw off her shackle.

Her image fell to pieces, jeweled crown shattered
Her light went into my heart
the army of bits stood down.

The little bird flew.
The little bird sang.
Just an ordinary bird.
A bird like all others.
Nothing special.