The Light Dressed in Chainmail

Kindra M. Austin/Blood Into Ink

Blood Into Ink

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In the middle of the night, shadows breathe;

bury your face—bite your pillow when you scream.

Don’t wake the house with your nonsense.

Terrors wear an addict’s face, and smile with her teeth;

ten thousand demons seeded in your soul.

Don’t wake the house with your nonsense.

She was never your mother; and you are not her.

You are the light dressed in chainmail—

the greatest warrior I’ve ever known.

This poem was inspired by my aunt. Aunt Denise’s birth mother had tried to abort her with a coat hanger in 1959, and after her birth, she was adopted by her aunt and uncle, whom I’ve always known as Grandma and Grandpa Carter. My beautiful, fierce aunt lived her life plagued with hatred for the woman who didn’t want her. I hope Aunt Denise is peaceful now. I miss her like mad…

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