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My Swallow Soul is a first-person voice from a child describing a rape experience. She sees the man as evil in his brutal assault of her, and she remembers the Biblical story of the terrifying sacrifice of a boy named Isaac by his father. She feels helpless and prays to own her soul for help.

Submitted:Jan 20, 2015    Reads: 158    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

My Swallow Soul

© 2002-2008 Patricia McGurk Martin

It was a killing of the swallows

birds and squirrels observed

blood in the barn

the terrible rape of my soul

the tenderness

I breathed from every pore

He wrapped my head

in saran wrap

swaddling cloth

and lay me down

with sleight of hand

Feigning innocence

he deceived me

when I was the child not he

He disturbed their nest

I was covered with bees

not stung only by omission,

I prayed to nature's cathedral

the queen flew away

while the stranger ruthlessly stole

Swallow whole my swallow soul

Swallow whole my swallow soul!

Searching for divine mercy


he wore a totem mask

and raged

as he ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­tried to take my place

I couldn't breathe

in the crushing iron lung of

his monstrous, heinous arms

He mopped the floor

with my long hair

covering it with forgotten dust

I polished his shoes and

I held my childish knees

weeping and submitting

maggots and alcohol were on his breath

his eyes had no light

like the binding of Isaac

I was his sacrifice

in the terrifying corrupt darkness

I would just as soon have justice!

not the ignominy of a desert death

dry turtle's backs and iguana visions

remnants of Saguaro legions

lacerating lesions of worry

I had left behind


in my school girl coat pockets

as I walked alone another day

Swallow whole my swallow soul!

Swallow whole my swallow soul!

Swallow whole my swallow soul!

Flow whole my soul!

Flow whole!







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