• rachealjosephpoet

Fear or Respect

I can't forget the whipping stick, whistling as it struck,

the sting it gave, like ants that bite and leave a burning pain.

a leather strap leaving its mark as bright red welts on soft brown skin.

Fear pulsing through every vein, whenever you appeared.

I can't forgive the Lord above; you called on him to give you strength,

strength to raise your hand against a child;

The punishments that were meant to teach obedience and respect,

though as a child I had no choice but to obey.

I am an adult now and you have long since passed away.

I want to say, I no longer fear, but memories still linger.

I know I should forget, but I cannot.

It saddens me to find no gesture in my heart that can forgive.

Respect is something that you earn and if it comes from fear

it's not the same.

(Tales From A West Indian Childhood published 2020 Morgan's Eye Press)

17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Elmbridge Literary Competition 2021 Highly Commended Why the Dum tree no longer sings. The Dum is a small round, red, fruit that looks like a cherry. The Dum tree is tall, though not too tall for chil

Inspired by personal experiences of unwillingly being sent from London to live with their father's mother in Antigua. Tales of a life in England during the 1950s and 60s, and the struggles of being fr