Images downloading like new software
From the net,
Cocks, fists, belts, needles, screams, flames, noise!
Real and not real,
Happening and not.
Can’t talk, can’t tell, be quiet, disappear.
No one must know!
Keep going no matter the cost.
Look good, stand straight, smile, make eye contact.
Better for now, it has passed.
Not again, happening once more!
How to endure when going on is too much
Collapse in tears, this must end,
But no end in sight but mine.
The turmoil is constant, now, then, always.
Could not contain, endure or even breath another instant.
No one can know, then said too much,
Wrong thing to the wrong person,
Police knocking at the door.
Guns, cuffs, no way out but to surrender and
Fall into terror once more.
With more needles, lights, unwanted touch and
Never ending sound like,
Mother’s songs and piano at 5:30 am each dawn.
Beautiful yet smothering when more sleep desired.
Wanting only to be left in peace from them, me, the past.
Hating the people who say they will help when no help
Or release ever comes but from within.
Like constant abrasion from coarse sand paper,
Wearing down,
Scraping away layers of who once was,
A child, a girl, smart, funny, dancing in joy,
Only to be crushed like dad’s endless cigarettes.
A flame once bright, now snuffed out.



Cathryn Glenday lives in a rose-pink pueblo style house in Albuquerque, NM with Oz, The Dog and two almost-cats, Diana and Zeus. She has lived most of her life in the Southwest US. When she graduated from UCSD she was encouraged to get an MFA in poetry and creative writing before proceeding to medical school but did not think her writing was good enough. Surgical complications, that eventually resulted in amputation of her leg, prevented her from finishing medical school. Cathryn went on to get an MPH degree from UTSPH in Houston and an MA in Clinical Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, in San Francisco. Today she is a psychotherapist that works with abused children and people with disabilities, a disability advocate and a far more confident writer. She has been writing poetry since 5th grade and is now working on a memoir addressing a period of her life when she was detoxing from opioids for chronic pain while also being sexually assaulted in a care setting. A second memoir is planned on Mother Daughter incest seen from the lens of a trained clinician. She planning to follow with books on each topic with stories from other people who have lived similar experiences. She has published poems in a variety of journals and is a contributor to The Mighty. In her rare free time, Cathryn enjoys live music, theater and dancing to whatever music is playing. The title of this poem is drawn from a line from A Course in Miracles. Cathryn has been a student of ACIM since the 80s and it brings her peace and strength.