Poetry, Sexual Assault Recovery, Trauma & PTSD

Five Years After

The color of my future
is a past broke open and
Laid to rest within the expanse
of what’s Possible.

I smile amidst bright tears
of my own making and

The Molasses riptide changes
to gentle Champagne.
My body rests and floats,
held up by imagination, bubbles.
My own strength. Yours.

Dread spins into nothingness.
I am the Curiosity that remains.

I am Magic
I am Whole
I am Safe
I am


That noon hour of pain
and fear dissolves in
a mixture of blues, pinks,
purples and golden glitter.
Exposed to light —
the static & chaos recede

Abracadabra! I Say:
With my file folder of words.
Because I am Powerful.

I am Now
I am the calm waves of Now.

Art by Dianne Hammer

Update February 2024: I wrote this poem in 2023, the day before the five-year anniversary of the assault. It was the first anniversary that wasn’t as bad – I could even look at the clock as the time approached. I used to hide the time between noon and one because I didn’t want to know. This poem shows the progress of my healing, and also: Writing it helped me reshape my anniversary experience. … I created this self-portrait of myself wearing a baseball cap during that same time period. The art both inspired the poem as well as has its own significance. My attacker wore a baseball cap, and for years afterwards, baseball caps triggered me. As my five-year anniversary approached, I made a conscious decision to take more of my power back; I decided baseball caps were “mine” again – that I wasn’t going to let him revise my wardrobe. I now wear a baseball cap on my social media to show that ownership and power.

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Wishing you love, peace and sparks of joy wherever you are on your healing journey. It is my wish with all that I do and all that I write about for you to know that you are not alone.