A family can survive major pruning.The loss of parent, grandparent, child.However, a family tree can’t survive without its bark. The stripping away of my childhood’s outer layer.The intentional toughing up routines backfired,thinning the skin until raw and every word or touchburned like a bare light socketsunk into my exposed muscle and sinew. Skinned alive, exposed, …

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Angel in bright white night gownSoiled, smudged from your earthly visit,Trapped in the trauma of a little boyRaped by his mother’s man. You can’t unsee, that dirt, that stain,It doesn’t come clean, the bile Of man’s defiling greedy hands Shoveling himself inside a little boy.  © SB Joy