Scarlet Letter

Stones in my hands
Coals for eyes
Back ramrod straight
Cardboard shoulders

Stockings run
Bloody knees
‘Neath a skirt torn

Heft the weight
Breathe deep
Take aim
A sobbing call for justice

Memory fades out


His hands upon my flesh
Squeezing as I shuddered
His fist in my hair pulling
Exposing my throat to his lips
His tongue tracing the lines on my skin
Raising goosebumps in its wake
His voice low in control
Inciting passion within my breast

Unknown eyes watching our love unfold
A bell tolling
Dragged from his arms next morning
Tied and awaiting my verdict

Guilty! Guilty!

Before the gavel struck the third time
He cried out, wait!
Took everything as his own fate
He looked at me that final time

Tears unshed rose unbidden

Fading in

Glancing down
I drop the stones
Turn and
Walk away

tara caribou | ©2020

Read this and more in my poetry book, Four.

31 thoughts on “Scarlet Letter

  1. Always felt forgiveness was somewhat of a false compromise.
    In ways emotional trickery.
    Forgive in order to ‘move on’? Who came up with that? How about come to terms and move on.
    Nice work Tara.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hhmmm
      I think forgiveness is essential. Both to give and to receive. It’s the releasing of a heavy burden that need not be carried around.
      My dad was an abusive, self-absorbed, fucking selfish man. I could spend my life being eaten up inside by this. What gave him the right? Who did he think he was? How I’ve been wronged as a human being. Etc Etc Etc…. instead I Choose to forgive him and move on in my life. I don’t have anything to do with him. I don’t allow him to control or manipulate me any longer. But I do forgive him. Now he is eaten up by his own guilt. But that’s not my problem. Just an example. If I didn’t forgive and move on; well it would be ME who suffers.


      1. Forgiveness to me means to absolve, exonerate, show mercy and perhaps pardon.
        Of coarse there are situations, most situations, where forgiveness should be granted. It clears the air and resets the train back on the track to move forward once again. A good thing. To error is human. Nobody wants to suffer consequences of a mistake forever. Especially me !

        But there are egregious acts perpetrated where forgiveness is not necessary. And if that forgiveness is offered, it’s likely empty and meaningless.
        I don’t think theres a quid pro quo between forgiveness and moving on or coming to terms.

        In your situation Tara your dad was abusive and harmed you in many ways.
        He was hurtful and you suffered greatly.
        You said you forgave him. But have you really?
        Did you absolve him exonerate him, show mercy to him, pardon him?
        I don’t think you did.
        Your words..’You have nothing to do with him now’.
        So is forgiveness just a word with a lot of utility, a line in the sand implying I’m now in control. I will not let you haunt me again. I’m moving on.

        One more thing. That girl in the story, she dropped the rocks. But who could blame her if she threw that rock with all her might and hit that guy square in the teeth.
        Could be what she needed to move on.

        Liked by 1 person

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