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Shame of Silence

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Below is the poem entitled Shame of Silence which was written by poet Tamara Hillman. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Shame of Silence

In the year, nineteen an’ thirty-nine, 
in a small town that seemed not to care,
a little girl tried her very best
to dress well, and groom her dark hair.
She’d fight for her life—whatever it took,
an’ survive her father so cruel,
her heart would stay strong , she’d try hard to belong
in this town, and much harder—in school.

Her mama had passed on to Heaven—
five years since she’d  breathed her last breath…
Daddy had tried to hide how he cried,
but then chose to live life in the past.
He drank every day of the week then,
and worked—but seldom, at most.
His life seemed meaningless—useless,
lacking life goals he might boast.

Food was quite scarce in the cupboards,
and her thin arms and legs bore the tale
of bruises and stripes from the whippings
she received every week without fail.
She was only a girl in the fourth grade
but her will and good marks got her thru’—
nobody would come to her rescue,
in those days—t’was the wrong thing to do.

Her dresses were hand-me-down clothing
with ties hanging loose in the back—
bright calico colors were faded
but worn proud no matter their lack.
She tried hard to comb her long tresses
and bathe whenever she could,
but water was heated on a potbellied stove,
and Dad wouldn’t chopped any wood.

The house, feeling cold and so lonely,
was never fresh cleaned as before,
looking neglected and run down—
crooked shutters and broken screen door. 
Kids teased her at school on the playground,
and shunned her when seen about town.
Her soul was burdened with sorrow,
and her eyes looked sad-blue tho’ dark brown.

Suspicion and rumors abounded
but folks minded their business back then—
they stayed out of another man’s family
no matter his obvious sin.
She struggled each day in her hard life,
making plans for a future to live
but fate was cruel and decisive— 
too soon, she had no more to give…

The town had just turned a blind eye—
neglected to care for this child,
protect the poor girl who lived in their midst,
and was known to be quite meek and mild.
Now, a grave lies stark—unattended,
her birth date and death carved in stone—
murdered by her drunken father, 
ignored by a town—left alone.

(dedicated to Donna who survived abuse)

              Tamara Hillman
                    ©2007

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  1. Date: 10/4/2009 10:46:00 AM
    A amazing poem. Congrats!! Love Light Truth Patty

  1. Date: 10/2/2009 12:38:00 PM
    Tamara, congratulations on making the first round of the contest...Raul

  1. Date: 9/30/2009 8:49:00 AM
    Congratulations on being featured this week. A. W. Nutter www.freewebs.com/abcedit

  1. Date: 9/29/2009 2:54:00 PM
    Congratulations on being featured with this heart felt poem. Very well written. Love, Joyce

  1. Date: 9/29/2009 11:24:00 AM
    Tamara, congratulations on having this poem featured this week! Ruben.

  1. Date: 9/25/2009 7:07:00 PM
    Tamara, I just wanted to drop in and add--Congratulations on making it through the first round in the contest. Good luck in the finals! Karen

  1. Date: 9/25/2009 4:26:00 PM
    Congratulations on your poetry being featured this week >> James

  1. Date: 9/24/2009 2:52:00 PM
    How sad....all the more so, because it happens too often.....once, would be too often...You have told a story many cannot tell, themselves...thank you for that. Nicely written !

  1. Date: 9/24/2009 1:56:00 PM
    This is a heartbreaking situation. Well written! Congratulations on having your poem featured. I wish you ongoing success with your writing. Karen

  1. Date: 9/24/2009 12:38:00 PM
    Tamara, congrats on being featured this week...Raul

  1. Date: 9/24/2009 10:59:00 AM
    Congratulations on your poem making it through the first round.Wishing you the best in the finals Tamara. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 9/24/2009 8:26:00 AM
    Tamara - what a beautifully constructed and well written piece. Congratulations on being featured it is well deserved, Love Janette

  1. Date: 9/24/2009 7:04:00 AM
    THE TITLE SAYS IT ALL. What a sad story you tell. I think this still goes on today. Great writing Tamara. lainie

  1. Date: 9/24/2009 4:29:00 AM
    Congratulations on your well deserved poetry being featured this week Tamara. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 1/21/2009 3:42:00 PM
    Some small child sits in corner bare, knees bundled against chest, wishing for love, but what comes is less than love; till death meets her last breath.... Please read my Poem series Molly for an understanding of my stance on this terrible crime... Your poem was stellar and my heart goes out to the main character.... God Bless... E