Phoebe, Our Daughter
only hold you for a little time
I loved you with all my heart
are my sweet daughter and always will be
matter where now you may be
promises to keep you safe
could not then
would not let me
now with all my heart I do
dream of what you could of been
things we could of done
would of been the sweetest mother
given all my love
that was not to be
others know you once lived
cried you smiled
know my love for you
did not die alone
you have not been forgotten
Olivia's poem for her daughter
do you explain to the world that you have a daughter, that she was killed.
They ask questions, ones that if answered will at the very less shock.
There is disbelief, there is horror and then denial. People can't
deal with this, and we are left alone. How old would she be, they
ask, 21 this year is the reply. They nod as they do the maths in
there head, then it comes that look, shock, confusion. We nod, yes
I had her when I was 11. We worry they will ask the hardest question,
how did she die? We don't know how to answer that. Should we
say the truth, that as we held her, they slit her throat, collecting the
blood as it poured over us, and then her tiny body was burnt away.
No we can not say that, that would be too much, they would never cope with
it. So to keep them safe, to take care of them we dilute the truth,
we hide away our grief and just answer in the most vaguest way. "We
were too young"
a long time this baby didn't exist for anyone but Olivia. She was
a non event, she was nothing. We hid from the truth, leaving Olivia
alone with her pain, denying the existence of the child borne from this
body. We had to, we know that, for no one was ready to deal with
that grief, that anger. But in doing so we were denying ourselves,
and denying a child that did no harm but to be borne into a world that
was perverted beyond measure. She lived for an hour and then was
gone, no tombstone marks her place of burial, no one speaks of her, that
child without a name, without a memorial. How could we acknowledge
her, to do so would be to believe our existence, to remember the pain.
We were scared, we didn't want to know our past. It was better lost
forever. But it was never lost, we could never truly escape it no
matter how fast we ran it was just one step behind us, waiting for us to
turn and look. So we shut off the memory and kept Olivia trapped
in the woods. We would be safe from it.
there comes a time when being haunted by the past is unbearable, more so
that dealing with it. So we released Olivia from her prison, and
brought her into the village. We did not know what she had to say,
but we all knew it would be bad. We thought we were prepared, but
nothing can prepare you for the knowledge that comes from abuse.
We had said we would support Olivia, that we would listen and comfort.
But when she started to speak her truth, we ran from her, we denied her.
She was alone, standing in the middle of the village, tears streaming down
her face. For our offer of support had disappeared like dust and
we had accused her of lying. We just weren't prepared enough, so
we turned away from her, trying to avoid the pain. Eventually however
we had to face it, we had to know it was a part of our life and that the
way to deal with it was to accept it and feel the grief, guilt and shame.
It was only when all those that felt pain over what had happened were allowed
to feel it could it be released.
was allowed to feel, allowed to remember and speak of her daughter.
After 17 years, she was finally able to acknowledge her daughter's existence,
and give her a name. This is Olivia's story, and that of her daughter
remember the woman coming to me, pulling me aside, telling me what an honour
this was, how I was a very lucky girl. But I didn't feel lucky, I
could tell in her eyes, something wasn't good, and I was scared.
She lead me to the altar, her hand gripping my arm tightly. I knew
that grip, it meant that running would only make things far worse, beyond
anything that would happen if I behaved. And I noticed my grandmother,
that smoldering hatred, that look of anger. I would not do anything
to bring that wrath on top of me, so I walked quietly, obediently.
Once at the table I was strapped in, my legs in stirrups and my arms strapped
down to the table. I was then giving a number of injections and everyone
waited. First the chanting started slow and quiet, mumbled words
in the background. But as the first waves of pain hit me the chanting
grew, in loudness and speed. My body was soon wracked with waves
of pain as I went into labour. The more I cried out the louder and
more excited everyone grew. I still didn't understand what was going
on. I was only 11, and not sure how babies come into the world.
It was all so terribly frightening. I thought I was dying, and that
was what everyone was excited about.
pain seemed to go on forever. Then it happened, it's all a daze now,
the woman telling me to push, the intense pain, the wild exhilaration of
the group. The next thing I am clearly aware of is that child being
placed on my stomach. Her tiny body wiggling slightly as my arms
moved to hold her. She was my daughter they said. I was so
tired, so happy. I couldn't believe I had a child. I lay there
watching her, smiling. She was mine and I would keep her safe, she
would have everything I didn't. They left me with her, lying there
crawling her in my arms for about an hour. It was the time I bonded
with my daughter. I was able to watch her, touch her, talk to her.
As the time went by she became more and more my child, and I could see
more of her future ahead of her. But then I noticed the way the group
of people grew silent, having been chatting quietly they now grew hushed
and came closer. Then I saw her, in her dark robe, that robe we knew
so well. The panic ran up inside me, I had to do something, get away,
but I wasn't able to move, tiredness and fear kept me rooted to the table.
I sobbed and begged, but she approached me unrelenting. As the people
broke into chanting again she took the knife, and slit open my daughters
throat, A chalice was placed to collect the blood, but a lot of it ran
over me. She lifted up the cup and the crowd cheered, after taking
a sip she placed it against my lips. I didn't want to drink of my
daughter's blood, but she forced it in place and tipped it so some ran
into my mouth.
she lifted the body of my daughter from me, holding it up in the air.
The words were spoken, the ceremony dedicating her soul to Satan was performed.
Everyone was so happy, so excited. The daughter I had held and loved
for that hour was now a servant of Satan and would never be at peace.
Her tiny body was then placed into the flames, and as they engulfed her
I lay there sobbing. It was my fault, I should of rescued her, I
should of run. I let my daughter die when I could of kept her alive.
I cried those tears knowing I would be punished for them later. I
was meant to be happy to perform this honoured task. But I didn't
care. She was my daughter and I wanted to die instead of her.
I should of died instead of her. No one would know she existed and
know one would speak of her again.
now been 21 years since she was born, and 4 years since I first spoke of
her. She now has a name, and a place in our memory. I like
to remember that hour we had, but I can't without remember what happened
next. Where is her soul now? I don't know. I want to
believe Skye when she says she has returned to the great Essence, that
Satan doesn't have her and she isn't suffering. I want to believe
that, but sometimes it's just too hard.
love you Phoebe.