Image: The Mothers, Käthe Kollwitz, 1922
Wanda Deglane is a freshman at Arizona State University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Her ultimate goals are to mend families, inspire as many people as she can, and be inspired. She is the daughter of Peruvian immigrants and lives with her huge family in Glendale, Arizona. When she isn’t writing, she paints and spends time with her dog, Princess Leia.
This poem was previously published in Veronica Literary Magazine.
Reporting a Two-Year-Old Sexual Assault
My sexual assault is now old enough
To be potty trained. It is old enough to speak
Basic sentences. How did I let it grow this much?
How did I let it develop and fester, trapped
In my mind where it has soured and rotted
And destroyed everything it has touched?
A thousand times my tongue wanted to unfold
But fear held it still. Where is your proof?
I can already hear people saying, You’re a liar.
You’re insane. You want attention. You won’t have it.
But the woman with shoulder-length hair
And the too-prepared smile tells me she believes me.
She tells me that I’m brave for coming in.
She says, I want to do everything I can to make
You feel safe now. Safe is such a foreign word.
So unimaginable, unreachable. You can remove
The bastard from the public spaces I walk and
The place that I live, but you cannot remove him
From inside of me. I must pry open my mind now
With nervous fingers, let the kind people in charge
Gently remove him from where he has grown
Like a toxic weed, a maddening game of Operation.
You’re doing the right thing.
We’re going to make sure this is as painless as possible,
One, two, five, ten people tell me. They take
The two-year-old from my weary hands.
I watch it leave me and feel nothing.