The Second Rape

by Larry Chamberlin   Mar 23, 2017

This is where we get her to talk
when she wants only to shut down;
where we force her to remember
that which she desperately wants
nothing more than to forget.

Our need is to have her recount
this brutality in order that the beast
who did it to her, left her for dead,
cannot ever again do it to anyone.

But I gaze at her blackened eyes
haloed by purple bruised cheeks,
see the agony impaled in grief
on drawn prepubescent lips.

The mind has a purpose for shock,
the body has a need to forget
in order to recover here and now,
despite the pain in later recall -
she'll be better able to deal then.

The psychologist in me wants to leave;
to let her cocoon for now, knowing
we will have to help her later,
to straighten her twisted wings.

The prosecutor in me shuts down
this inner dialogue of doubt, roughly
forces apart the legs of compassion
and rams home the investigation.

So I deceive myself and her, avoiding
the worst of the spiritual suffering;
look deep into her damaged soul
lying to this battered child:
"this is where the healing begins."


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Latest Comments

  • 4 years ago

    by Risqué

    This is heartbreaking.
    And outstanding.

  • 4 years ago

    by mossgirl19

    Oh my, Larry, this is such a sad scenario and I can feel the heavy responsibility on your shoulders. It's not an easy situation to be in, knowing whatever good you might say may not make any sense to the victim. And you are a man, which I think makes it more difficult talking to a rape victim, as surely she cannot trust your kind! But in reading this, I see a soul sincere in helping the poor girl out, although you are quite unsure, but your good intentions are clear. A very touching write Larry and hats off to you for your awesome job!

  • 5 years ago

    by Liz

    Oh, my God. This is truly heartbreaking to read. What makes it worse is the truth and experience behind it. Thank you for sharing this.

  • 5 years ago

    by silvershoes

    Incredibly powerful, moving, heartbreaking poem. Thank you for being so honest about your experience and internal struggle as a prosecutor with a sound conscience. Your job is as important as the psychologist who will help her heal. If you are more likely to catch the rapist, you are more likely to save another potential victim from the same pain. You are saving lives by prosecuting bad guys. There IS healing for this young female if she knows she's helped keep others from the same hurt.

  • 5 years ago

    by Naughtymouse

    Larry, I have to say this write is outstanding, I know people who have been through this, how it changes them, how utterly devastating it is and how it not only affects them but others around them, how relationships are never the same.

    Kudos to you my friend on this.


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