Confessional Poetry, Memoir Poem, Poetry

Wet House in the Hungry Forest Where Girls and Boys Go to Die

There’s crying in the wallpaper that drips
July swelter. Little girls and little boys and
bigger girls and bigger boys go
here to die. I can feel them
everywhere. Their spirits
got loose but
they are as lost as I am in
this dripping house in
this heavy, hungry forest where no one would find
us, and
certainly no one would hear us and
they see this horror go down and
down and down and they want to take their
big eyes off if but they’re scared of the forest and
the wet in the forest and
all those millions of insects
ready to eat them alive and
pick their bones. I wish I could
tell them they don’t have meat and bones to
pick anymore and they can just go and
float up through the suffocating green and
god wants them
but I don’t know that.

-M. Ashley

Confession, Confessional Poetry, Memoir Poem, Mental Health, Poetry

Colleen Whose Name Means Girl

Maybe I should be out
Loud about it. Maybe I
Should talk. I know it
Sure would have helped me
A lot if the woman they
Kept in a box under the
Bed for seven years had
Been a little more chatty.

“These things do happen. They
Do.” We would commiserate
With each other through the
Knothole in her box and the
Keyhole in the door I was
Locked and chained behind

Also for seven years.

Lucky lucky.

“Colleen,” I would whisper so
The bad men wouldn’t hear.

Colleen whose name means
Girl

“Colleen,” I would whisper
“I get you Sister.
I do.”

-M. Ashley

If you are a survivor of sex trafficking, I cannot recommend the organization Journey Out enough. They have helped me tremendously and I am grateful every day that I found them.

Confessional Poetry, Poetry

An Empty House

Windows with closed mouths
Wallpaper scrubbed clean
An antique porcelain tub
Where no one drowned
An unfinished basement
Where no one clawed and cried
No horrors under the floorboards
No broken furniture to remember
No shadows in the closets
No starvation in the dining room
Unused door locks
Original doors
Gently closed

-M.