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