Worn: A Poem of Rape Survival


Worn. Like a pair of faded jeans. Or the peeling paint of an abandoned building. Worn is the tree that no longer blooms in the spring. It is the feeling of having nothing to give, yet waking up every time the sun rises above the horizon.

Worn is the one who sleeps yet never rests. His dreams are a minefield of memories. Flashes of tear stained sheets and tied up arms. Haunting screams of “please stop” and “no more”. Wake up young man, wipe the sweat off your face, and weep into hands.

Worn is the young boy whose spirit was broken at six. His sacred body turned another man’s playground. To wreak darkness into a vibrant soul. To feel hands grab with hunger at tender flesh. To look into the mirror and feel ashamed to be a man.

Worn is the student battling his own cocktail of depression. Add one ounce anxiety, two ounces PTSD, shake and watch as his spirit crumbles and the world becomes a dark, cold place. He yells and falls to his knees. Silence is the sole response he receives. He lays down his arms, but just for a brief moment.

Worn is the man who aches for acceptance into the fray of masculinity. His tears deny his entrance. His expression of emotion deprive him of male camaraderie. His feelings deny him validation. His label of Rape Survivor strips him of manliness. He is isolated, alone.

But look! How he rises with the sun of the day. See how he smiles with the light of the stars. Feel the tender nature of his love. Watch as his body rolls with the vibrations of his robust laughter. He is broken, beaten, and battered. But he is thankful.

Rise up young man, the day is calling. Open your books and learn what you must. Don your white coat and heal those who come to you. Bask in the warmth of their smiles. Let the energy pulse within you. Find peace, and feel worn no more. And before you close your eyes at night, place your stethoscope against your chest. Listen to the beating force within you.

The beats, my dear friend, are called purpose.