By Ginny Craven

I hear a voice, crying out in the velvet night.

I strain to hear the strangled whisper in the dark.

It is a voice stifled by the shame of wandering hands –

Choked by the ignominy of forced entry.

And, I struggle to hear it…but a faint echo…

It is a voice suffocated by stigma

Disembodied by disgust and self-recrimination

Yet, it is still there – rising beyond its tortured beginning.

I begin to listen intently – to hear the suffering that has been snuffed by self-reproach and fear,

The pact of silence that denies the pain and pushes the filth to the side.

And the voice grows slowly louder – with the power of confession – 

My throat is raw as I cry out –

Cry out for the little girl, whose terrified pleas were never heard,

For the sultry teenager pretending at womanhood,

And for the woman crushed beneath myriad boot heels.

My voice…Me too!

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