Wednesday, 9 July 2014

'Even if'

It’s not hard to be objective.
I don’t want to be objective.
I don’t want sympathy or justice.
Sympathy just crawls on my skin
and justice, well, justice is bloodless.
Revenge tastes better and is more substantial.
Justice is too clean and too cool.

What I would like best,
and I’m sorry if this shocks you,
is to know that he has suffered;
and not just a little bit,
not just a twinge or a pang
at the odd time or two he remembers,
but real suffering, the kind
that eats away at you and, sometimes,
in the end, makes you grow.

But it will never happen.
It cannot happen. Because he
has lived his life un-blighted.
He does not, even now, wake at night
to live again, and again, and again,
the fear and the loss and the shame.
And even if he trembles in his well-heeled boots,
at the thought that he might at last be outed;
and, even if he is, and even if he’s jailed,

his suffering can never be enough.

Abigail Wyatt

Abigail Wyatt writes poetry and short fiction. She lives near Redruth in Cornwall. She has lived the whole of her adult life in the shadow cast by childhood sexual abuse.