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Wendy Jensen

I accelerate onto the freeway

trees flashing by

and my assured solitude tickles awake a memory.

An unbidden flicker

quiet as snow on sand.

A piece of my child self

hidden by adult skin.

That piece forbids movement

leaving me as if

dead inside.

She whispers

close my eyes

turn off the switch to my ears

numb my skin

shutter my brain

stay alive.

Don't feel

because therein lies danger

the possibility of bursting out into the world

curtains opening

flooding me with sights

and sounds

and worst of all

remembered sensations.

I hold tightly to the wheel

carefully follow the painted lines

while the terror of his touch

floods back into my bones


ripping out stitches.

The overpowering wave

touches my grown skin

and mind

and heart.

I cannot keep it in

I cannot stop it

from all but drowning me

in its awful


Hard on the heels

of the released anguish

the acknowledged horror

the dread

famished for attention

comes very real


Highway markers count upwards

while anger

from my adult bones

pushes me

to open my eyes

unblock my ears

unstill my legs

and free my arms.

This anger demands



kicking my way

out of the oblivion

that used to be safest.

I carefully watch the speed limit

stay in my lane

letting the storm rage.

No-one can interrupt me

at 65 miles an hour.

I remember

the safety of the closed bathroom door

one room

where a lock was allowed

just a jail cell

locked from the inside.

No flowering of life there.

No feeling allowed.

The lock on my car door

promises safety to my grown self

now enclosing a wall

of angry child skin

which can no longer countenance



forcing messages

past squinched lids

stopped ears

numb nerve endings.

This anger

though fearful

is my salvation.

I am learning

to speak

to yell.

Here in my head

I peel away child skin

from woman skin

separate the past

from accompanying highway trees

and my hands

curve tightly

around the steering wheel.

I am becoming more whole.

I have risen

from my child's bedsheets

looked around

and found myself





no longer required

to remain silent

the last hide-and-seek player

who waits

not knowing that her little friends

have all gone home

and given up the search.

The time for hiding is over.

Now I can scream

and the power that bubbles up

from deep in my gut

is exhilarating.

My heart races

even though I sit

serenely in my adult world

behind the wheel

the horizon spreading before me.

A veil lifts off my face

with my released breath.

I take in deep drafts

and blow them out

snorting like a charging horse

free to move






My voice

silenced for so long

no longer waits

to tell my story.

He did this

to me.


Wendy Jensen

I grew up in three different countries, landing finally in New Hampshire to practice homeopathic veterinary medicine, play violin, and raise my children. My writing has appeared in the Tiny Seed Journal as well as numerous homeopathy journals. My experiences as a veterinarian, an advocate at my local crisis center, and a researcher at an animal rights organization all come together to inform my work.


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