Between my shadow and my soul

Appetizer - Island of the Raped Woman

Maybe this poem appealed to me because I like dessert.
Or because I want to go home now.
Or because every human has an island.

Island of the Raped Women

There are no paved roads here and all of the goats
are well-behaved. Mornings, beneath thatched shelters,
we paint wide-brimmed straw hats. We paint them
inside and outside. We paint very very fast. Five
hats a morning. We paint very very slow. One hat
a week. All of our hats are beautiful and we all look
beautiful in our hats. Afternoons, we take turns:
mapping baby crabs moving in and out of sand, napping,
baking. We make orange and almond cake. This requires
essence and rind. Whipped cream. Imagination.
We make soft orange cream. This requires juice
of five oranges and juice of one lemon. (Sometimes
we substitute lime for the lemon. This is also good.)
An enamel lined pan. Four egg yolks and four ounces
of sugar. This requires careful straining, constant
stirring, gentle whisking. Watching for things not
to boil. Waiting for things to cool. We are good
at this. We pour our soft orange cream into custard
cups. We serve this with sponge cake. Before
dinner, we ruffle pink sand from one another's hair.
This feels wonderful and we pretend to find the results
interesting. We all eat in moderation and there is no
difficulty swallowing. We go to bed early. (Maybe, we
even turn off lights. Maybe, we even sleep naked. Maybe.)
We all sleep through the night. We wake eager from dreams
filled with blue things and designs for hats.
At breakfast, we make a song, chanting our litany
of so much collected blue. We do not talk of going
back to the world. We talk of something else
sweet to try with the oranges: Sponge custard.
Served with thick cream or perhaps with raspberry sauce.
We paint hats. We paint hats.

By Frances Driscoll- Rape Survivor

8 shared ideas:

Anonymous September 4, 2008 at 8:38 PM  

Being a victim of sexual molestation I can relate to this. It's speaks volumes.

desert demons September 4, 2008 at 11:18 PM  

Its crazy what the stats look like in S.A, the thing is you never really recover...

Nooj September 5, 2008 at 1:45 PM  

Thanks for commenting anon. I don't think I can try to imagine, but Frances Driscoll's words allow pockets of air to enter my mind. She has an entire book of poetry that she wrote as a process of literary healing, a long time after the incident.

Thanks for the visit DD, yes despite the stats each one has it's own story of the descent to hell. Let us pray that the heavenly island can exist...

Khadija September 5, 2008 at 2:17 PM  

Truly a beautiful poem. Writing is healing after all.

Bilal September 6, 2008 at 12:39 AM  

nice blog. just saw it..

Prixie September 7, 2008 at 10:04 PM  

oh my my..i have no words.

oh and i have tagged you

Nooj September 8, 2008 at 8:54 AM  

truly, kay

shukran busy busy bilal :)

lol prixie it is the month of overcoming weaknesses! ok i guess listing them will help in the fight :)

Kitty Cat September 8, 2008 at 12:09 PM  

A friend of mine was raped by 5 men all at once. Really, makes you wonder...