Their Rapists’ Bread

Eleven women gather in the darkening of dusk;
eleven threads of story are exhumed from beating hearts.
Grief and fear comingle into winds that whisper messages,
seeking relief from men corrupting power to control,
men who don’t know what it’s like to live within a female form
impregnated by your mother’s slimy boyfriend—
or raped by a football player and his friends,
or assaulted on your way home from the library
and left damaged and alone.

Your femaleness invited it,
your vagina,
your sex
and now you’re bound by this parasite,
this tiny feeding being,
too angry to think about rape,
and babies,
and the intentions of God.

Too scared to hate the world any more,
too scared to nurture life within,
too scared to let your mother know
when she’d beat you for doing her boyfriend,
or the football players would haze you in the halls,
or you’d revisit in a belly round, the pummeled pillaged mess
that you’d become; the baby a scarlet letter,
a rape tied around your waist.

Eleven women gather in the darkening of dusk;
eleven threads of story are exhumed from beating hearts.
Second chances dance their histories, their lives without that “we”
banished to the freedom of not having to be.
Eleven liberated women gather in the gloaming
rippling outward inklings of energy through darkening skies
all their wishes woven into one single thread
that grants the right for future women
not to be forced to bear their rapists’ bread.

Brenda Warren 2012

Visit The Sunday Whirl.

21 thoughts on “Their Rapists’ Bread

  1. Brenda that is a very powerful poem. My mind wants to scream brilliant while my heart is saying horrible, horrible. A complete duality of emotions and logic. Very well done. I’m sending my 20yr old daughter the link. 🙂


  2. This is an fueled-important and powerful piece, Brenda.

    I find it so disturbing….all of it. It sucks to kill the baby it really sucks to not have the choice…it all is really so very freakin’ sad…I wish all of the rapists could be magically extracted and sent to live on a deserted island together so this sort of violence could never happen again.

    Thank you for writing that which needs to be written,Brenda.


  3. Brenda, a powerful and important poem. Angry, indeed, but justly so. Political, yes, but rightfully so. I can’t get “a rape tied around your waist” out of my head. Brava!



  4. Oh, my word, Brenda. This is powerful and timely. An absolutely strong write for our times. I am dismayed by the politics of the US right now. It is a depressing picture that has been presented for the world to see. Thanks for being brave enough to write this. I love you for that alone my friend.




  5. Having been an abuse victim (within my own home and elsewhere), and then an advocate for others of the same, I found strength and courage in your words, Brenda. There can be no end to evil as long as there are men, who for the right ‘price’, would legitamize rape. Your poem made me angry and that is a very good thing. Thirty years ago, a federally funded research program found that one out of every three women, living in this country, do not reach the age of eighteen without being sexually molested, seduced, or raped. And that was based on only the reported findings. Since reading those statistics, I have often stood in elevators and wondered about those other two women and what they are waiting for. Luck, God’s will, or higher priced good intentions?

    Thank you for this one,



  6. Wow, Brenda. Powerful, timely poem with a tragically timeless theme. If only those who seemingly lack empathy could read this and try on these threads even for a moment. Vote with your brains and your hearts, people!


  7. No one has the right to violate another. Choice should be for each individual body. No one voice should say who can or cannot get help and care. You have brought to mind to many shows that I have watched that have given men power but have also in the end brought Independence and freedom to the ‘victim’. I can only hope one day such support groups aren’t needed. May they continue to be there so voices will be heard and healing can take place.

    Thanks for your visit. Sometimes I have half a clue as to direction and then the wordle list takes over and leads the rest of the way. Glad you are still enjoying the additions.


  8. Having once been a child victim, this hits home…hard. Women’s rights should not even be being discussed. What right do men think they have to defile a woman and then because of the men in political power’s own beliefs try to enforce that on others. Women have fought for over 200 years for their rights and, are still having to fight today. The ones they have fought for and won should not even be open for debate, ever. It should be a woman’s right to choose and no-one else’s, especially a man who has never, known or felt a hot poker shoved up his behind to have a sense of how it feel to a woman to be so violated. If men and women who have never been molested in this way knew how full of evil and hatred this is, they would never say it was God’s will that the girl/woman became pregnant. What a load of old tosh!
    As you can see Brenda, it hit home hard to me. I couldn’t agree with you more. This is the main reason I hope Romney and his side kick Ryan won’t win. They will take away women’s rights in a flash.


    • Amen, sister! I appreciate a rant born of pain and knowing. Women will be relegated to kitchens if some have their way. Relegated, regulated, home by 5:30. May our voices ride the wind.


  9. Powerful, shocking, black but really well written.

    Except that the grammar police in me was brought up short by the split infinitive of the last line. Please could it be “not to be forced to bear their rapists’ bread.”


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