Linda M. Crate – Online Open Mic

your black magic

you get crowned a good man
again and again by people i love,
but they don’t know you
like i do;
how you refused to take no
for an answer and tried to force
yourself upon me—
how when you broke up with
me i felt joy not pain,
as the tears fell from my cheeks;
they don’t know how you found me
years later at college
and smirked at me with an evil grin,
“i bet you don’t remember me”
knowing full well i would—
they don’t know the trauma you put
me through or all the things i had to work through
simply so i could function as a human being,
yet somehow i’m the villain when i scoff
that you’re a good man;
somehow i’m the witch that they must burn—
i guess your black magic is a good disguise
because they believe you’re a miracle
not a curse.
-linda m. crate

predators will be predators

i haven’t seen you in years,
and i hope i never
have to;

i don’t know what i’d do if i were
forced to stand in the same room
as you—

but any time someone tells me
i have a pretty smile it falls off my face
because i think of how you said it

just before you tried to force me to
“do it” with you,
and i know there are some that would

insist that kids would be kids;
but what about that rainy night at college
when you taunted me—

it’s not kids will be kids,
but predators will be predators;
sometimes they take the shape of children

just a hair older than you—
but i was afraid no one would believe me
if i told, and judging by the reactions

that i receive when i say you’re not a good man
i was right to believe that no one would
believe you were anything less than innocent.
-linda m. crate

i do remember you

i remember
what i was wearing that night,
and the rain lashing the window;
the evil look in your dark eyes—

i remember how i said no,
but it didn’t matter
you weren’t listening to what
i had to say;
as if i were speaking another language
entirely but i kept pleading

only for you to insist
that we were
going to “do it”—

i remember that adrenaline rush
wish saved me from your will,

and tumbling down the stairs to escape you;
your sister thought i heard my mother’s car
but quite honestly i was just running from you
regardless of whether my mother was there or not—

i remember when i got into my mother’s car
that i just wanted her to mash the gas
like a get-away vehicle;

so, unfortunately, yes, i do remember you.
-linda m. crate

people betray me

told my
childhood best friend
what you did,

and years later she still
friended you on facebook;

people always tell me
that you’re a good man and i hate
hearing that when i know
the truth—

i never am brave enough to speak up,
but the one time i made a derisive snort
i was scolded for it;

guess you have the whole world fooled
but not me—

i recognize you for the monster you are,
but people betray me when they insist you’re
a different person than what i know and remember
from all the scenes that still play in my head
all these years later.
-linda m. crate

i won’t decay for you

you are the damned spot
i cannot wash
from my skin,
but i won’t be your victim;
i will have
my life is my own,
and i refuse to live my life in fear
because of you;
i’m taking my journey back—
the trauma sometimes still makes me
like the little girl i once was,
but i refuse to let it destroy me;
i am the phoenix
whose immortal flame will always rise
from the ashes
to defeat the nightmares like you—
i refuse to be a haunted house brought down
by inner decay,
i am going to be the wreckage cleared out
by divers;
i am going to reconstruct myself from the
bruises and you will recognize me for my light
when she puts your nightmares to rest.
-linda m. crate


Linda M. Crate

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