There Is Strength in Our Stories: Thin Ice – Tamara Fricke

i.

Cracking ice
twists and sickens
at an intrinsic
level as though
cells know
hypothermic pain.

ii.

The time when
I said no and
he said yes and
I changed my tune
because fear is
intrinsic.

iii.

A sheet of ice
covers the snow
creating a satisfying
crunch with each
wintered step.

iv.

The satisfying
taste of a well
placed lie that
saves face for
all; even when
it’s transparent.

v.

Roads glisten
in ice blacker
than Death’s robes.

vi.

The day
Death knocked
and I was forced
to answer.


Jack-of-all-trades, master of a few, Tamara resides in Springfield, MA with a rather ungrateful cat.

There Is Strength in Our Stories: a night that didn’t wash away – Linda M. Crate

i remember that rainy saturday night well
will never forget
your sister was supposed to be watching us,
however, she was rather absent
from where we were;
i remember how you forced your lips against mine in
a kiss although i protested no
you didn’t listen—
never understood why my voice didn’t matter
how you made me silent and empty as a void,
but you hallowed out my tongue and emptied me of
my power;
broke my heart and impaired my magic
when you stole all those kisses
from me—
and then you insisted we’d “do it”,
i protested again;
yet all my protests fell on deaf ears
refusing my right to deny what i didn’t want
as if this were some norm i was supposed to come to expect—
i remember how you were in your underwear and you tried to pull
my clothes off, but i refused to let you;
felt so hot that i thought i must be melting as i somehow found the strength
in that adrenaline rush to push you away
ran down the steps
never happier to see my mother in my life
& as the car door slammed shut
i wished she would speed away like a get-away car;
only wanted that night to wash away.


Linda M. Crate has been full of words and stories for as long as she remembers. Her works have been published in many magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is a two-time push cart nominee and author of six poetry chapbooks, the latest of which is “More Than Bone Music” (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, March 2019). She is also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books, June 2018).

There Is Strength in Our Stories: Over her shoulder – Sarah Bigham

If only she could carry seven
Classes worth of books to avoid
The lockers where he waited
To grab her while the others
Snuffled and his girlfriend
Apologized for his behavior
But no one stopped to help

Arriving at a party that was
Supposed to be fun where a row
Of grown boys in khakis and
Polos all drinking beer
Rated the “harem chain”
With alternating pack hunger
And audible disdain

How did he hide the
Strength in his arms and large
Palms that braced her head and
Sick fascination with teens
His grandchildren’s age
That horrible tongue
Of a man of god

The phone would ring
At her desk
While she worked
The strange laughter
Felt sour in her breastbone
As he said
I’m in front of your house

(Originally published in the anthology, Daily Abuse)


Sarah Bigham lives in Maryland with her kind chemist wife, three independent cats, an unwieldy herb garden, several chronic pain conditions, and near-constant outrage at the general state of the world tempered with love for those doing their best to make a difference. A Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, Sarah’s poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in a variety of great places for readers, writers, and listeners. Find her at www.sgbigham.com.

Update: There is Strength in Our Stories

The Editors of We Will Not Be Silenced owe an apology to everyone who took the time to submit to our April Event, There is Strength in our Stories. We received so many submissions for There is Strength in Our Stories and the upcoming Anthology But You Don’t Look Sick that we literally could not read and respond to all the submissions during the month of April.

We are still deeply committed to publishing the pieces that were accepted and will post them on Blood Into Ink (WordPress), Whisper and the Roar (WordPress), and our WWNBS Facebook page between now and the end of June. Many of the submissions were suburb and have us considering a volume 2 of We Will Not Be Silenced.

Thank you for your patience and good humor as we catch up.

Kindra M. Austin
Candice Louisa Daquin
Rachel Finch
Christine E. Ray

Call For Submissions: This is What Love Looks Like. Poetry By Women Smitten with Women

Indie Blu(e) Publishing is currently accepting submissions of poetry and art for This is What Love Looks Like. Poetry by Women Smitten with Women. This Anthology will celebrate love, attachments, and attraction between women.

  • The maximum number of pieces for submission per writer/artist is FIVE (5).
  • Writing can be uploaded as a Word or PDF attachment. If you are submitting a graphic poetry meme, the meme must be accompanied by the text in Word or PDF version.
  • Artwork submitted for the Anthology must be able to be reproduced clearly in black and white.
  • You will be notified if your work is accepted. Please do not consider non- acceptance as any diminishment of your experience, but as with any publishing venture, we must try to fit the individual pieces together into a strong whole.
  • Submission of previously published pieces is acceptable if you still own the rights to your work.
  • Submissions will be accepted through June 30, 2019 through Submittable. There is no charge for submission.

This is a project fueled by passion, not profit. Indie Blu(e) Publishing will only charge a few dollars above the publishing cost to keep the Anthology as affordable as possible.

All contributors will receive a PDF copy of the book.

Questions? Contact Candice at candicedaquin@gmail.com.

There Is Strength in Our Stories: I Will Rise – Layla Summers

I can still feel his hands on me
Grabbing too roughly
Holding too tightly
Leaving a lingering sting
Long after the slap on the face

I can still hear his begging
The pure disappointment
No -that’s too kind a word-
The disguised fury
When I said no to sex

I can still feel it
How he decided to fuck me anyway
How he kissed me
Making me gag on his tongue
How he’d bite my neck
How he’d do anything
Until I gave up

I can still feel it
His jaws clenched way too tight
On my breasts

I can still hear him
Sounding so pleased
So thrilled with himself

He was my first true
“Relationship”
And yet I was his prisoner
His plaything

I vividly remember the last time
I remember the rage in his eyes
Because I didn’t want to have sex
5 days before my birthday,
The anniversary of the first time I was raped
At twelve years old,
But he didn’t care
And he fucked me anyway
Because I’d “been doing fine”

What he doesn’t know
Is I am a Phoenix
And I will rise from the ashes
Of my broken self


I am a poet, author, and playwright. I have been writing for almost seven years as a way to cope with my traumas and bipolar disorder. Now I use my writing to show others they are not alone. My writing can be found on Wattpad under HealingTatteredWings. By overcoming the past, we can do more than survive. We can all thrive together. My heart goes out to all those who need someone there for them.

We, the broken – Jesica Nodarse

Im not sure I have the words to explain
Even my vast vocabulary fails me
I should be used to it
Ive been here many times before
We, the broken.. forget what its like to be whole 
So please bear with me
My compass has turned off
The sun rose from the West
And its rays emit an eeriely cold glow
Even the maps refuse to unfold
I’ll overcome
Time and again
Its all I’ve known
Somewhere along the line, the purpose will make itself known
Till then ..
I’ll be here
Nowhere at all

Jesica Nodarse
Artist unknown (Pinterest)