Child Welfare

Christine Ray – A triggered revelation

Brave & Reckless

This poem was original published on Whisper and the Roar


I am in my child welfare class in graduate school
the room is full
class starts at 4 pm
it is dim
warm
my classmates and I are drowsy
longing for a snack
some caffeine
unexpectedly
the professor puts on a film
a surprisingly graphic film
about child sexual abuse
I am fine
I am fine
I am fine
I am not fine
I am rushing out of the classroom
heart thudding
hands shaking
I make it to the restroom
The privacy of the stall
before I vomit copiously
into the white porcelain bowl
knees sore on cracked
black and white checkerboard tile
I have never used the words
sexual abuse
in relation to myself
but my body is telling me
a different narrative
I have had lovers
who are sexual abuse survivors
I have always told myself
that what…

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