A Phone Call Unanswered

Not a simple season
I hold heartbreak on the line
it is a weighty, tangled chorus
can the electrons support

it is unsaid lumps
swallowed sad in silence
I want to pick up but the time
is a lion, hungry
I think I ignore because
pain is persistent
running water over
cold feet, hanging on

you don’t know
between minutes breathing
is like an obstacle,
red dot is an easy slide
more safe than sound


Waiting for the Anger to Stop

Those sharp corners, rough sides
that make the corners of your mouth
the dark red of withdrawn,
your capillaries capped.

Your past life
over your eyes
the pounding heart of horses on fire
the heavy tongue that cannot lift
the swollen brain holding tight
to that barbed wire fence;

pulls of skin and muscle
the gnawing, gnashing
of external-internal clashing,

you are burdened
by your own
two hardened hands.


Penney Knightly is a survivor of child and adult sexual abuse, and explores themes on the subject in her writing. Her poetry has appeared in Raving Dove, a magazine featuring prose and poetry against physical and psychological oppression, and more recently in Broad Magazine and Big River Review. She is also a visual artist and blogger. She shares her current passions at: penneyknightly.com.

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