This poem is about a panic attack I had at my workplace when a known child abuser touched my hand. I don’t quite remember what happened, only that I was so disgusted that I was left horrified when she gave me her change. If I was so scared, how must her children feel?
Pain is felt where you’ve touched me,
though I know you’ve never hurt me.
But those same hands have hurt others,
ones I call sisters and brothers.
Why you’ve used such caring arms
to cause the little ones some harm,
I never will quite understand
how you rationalize your backhand.
So as I catch my rasping breath,
winded from the pain you’ve left,
I can only imagine the fear they face
even when they catch your gaze.
If only there was something to say
that could suddenly change your ways,
but sworn to secrecy I was told
of those scars that now seem old,
to those who bore them in the past
who hope they will never last.
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