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Shared History

By Molly C. Sheahan

2nd Place, Poetry, Create | Encounter 2023


The words cave-in, and fly from my side

Gushing chips of muscle and bone

Teeth spat out of a cotton dry mouth

A crumbling ribcage that shudders and groans


The slight burn slides down my throat

To hide the lump that rises there

A thermos of rage boils onto the page

On typed sheets it comes bare


I remember the ziggurat, yellowing, ailing

A brim to the skyline within the polis

An agoraphobic boat above the law’s moat

Holding the sickness within its solace


They tied me to the iron gate with silky thread

My breath whispered from drowning hands

The spoon cauldron bubbled and the bruises inked

While my hourglass emptied of sand


So I stare up at a hanging man each day

Scrutinizing every drop of blood

Tracing every scar on his body that mirrors

My own life, each memory, this flood


Until I realize that this is a pyrrhic victory

That it’s foolish to compare scars with my God

That a wounded soul just longs to be seen and known

And held until the pain has thawed


And so in each open palm I am curled

A girl collected into fragments rare

Wounded and hidden in wounds

So that I might be healed there


Artist Statement:

Healing begins when the heartache is first expressed. As a poet, my work explores the theme of superando, the Spanish word for overcoming but tinged with greater resilience.


I write from the perspective of an adventurer clambering inside my heart chambers, chiseling off the loss and longing until it spills over the edge. These poems evoke rock-bottom, and the hard work of restoration.

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Disclaimer: The views presented in the Rehumanize Blog do not necessarily represent the views of all members, contributors, or donors. We exist to present a forum for discussion within the Consistent Life Ethic, to promote discourse and present an opportunity for peer review and dialogue.

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