Reclaiming Lives

Act of Contrition

Anger is stronger than love
more desperate than desire
me if it kills you

Hot and sweaty in moist ecstasy
bold but understated power
less than rape.

Hunger is weaker than truth
when sins are recited in cubicles
memorizations absolved
for a mere prayer.

Bread-baskets clickety-clanking
sounds of silent abnegation
for a mere psychoanalysis.

Yet, hate is longer than forgive
me while I wash the ring around your collar
scrubbing to remove my innocent breath

No quality control
No inspector no. 6

My panties have been dusted
with the body and blood forever.

Mary Gurekas
Pointe Claire, QC

Reprinted from WEdf, Winter 1996/ 97, Volume 12, No.4

Three years of intense therapy later, I can say I have successfully been through the following: a sixteen-week course on domestic abuse (Breathe Colleen); an eight-week course on childhood sexual abuse (breathe) and incest (keep breathing); a sixteen-week course on self-defense (Stay present; how do you feel?); an eight-week course on first-aid (Have I eaten today? Have I slept this week? What do I need right now?); and I am enrolled in a lifelong course on the healing process (Take your time; take off the veils).

I write freely in the safety of a pen name. I can also say, with unveiled pride and a measure of job, that at the age of thirty, upon almost half a lifetime of leaving high school: I completed the correspondence courses, and I hold my Grade Twelve Diploma. Now, I am beginning to learn...

Reprinted from WEdf, Summer 1992, Volume 9, Number 4.

Colleen N. Race is a pseudonym; all names and places have been omitted to protect her identity. Colleen is a published free-lance writer and is the single mother of one child. She is presently continuing her education at the post- secondary level (by correspondence courses, of course) toward a third career in the library field. 1998 update: Colleen has now reclaimed her dream of becoming a song-writer. She is the lyricist of Safe Passage, a nine-song benefit recording for Tamara's House: Services for Sexual Abuse Survivors. Safe Passage is available through the internet at the following address:

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