Creak of the Floorboard

by Nicca Ray

I should hate men
After what you did
When I was 8,9,10,11
Sneaking into my room
After our parents fell asleep.
The creaking floorboards
Were the warning bell you were coming
To wreak havoc on my body
To wreak havoc on my mind
Wreaking havoc on my future
You were the wrecking ball crucifying my identity.
I should fear men
Because of you.
Yet, they know not what you did
They listen to my held breath
Cooing in my ear
Harder baby harder
Softer baby softer
Silent goes the night.
Decades older
I lie here in repose
Thinking back on what you stole
My right to say no
Those evenings of degradation and coming to
The end of me
I should be dead.
I inhale let my living sink in.
You aren’t the winner here
You’re not my captor
You aren’t my forever.
What you did won’t make me hate
A man
Who never made the floorboard creak.
You are not every man
And every man is not you.
You no longer decide the fate of me
You no longer possess my identity.
The he who is not you whispers in my ear, “I will always keep you safe.”
The he who is the antithesis of you
Makes the floorboard stop creaking
Takes the fear out of night
Removes hatred from my heart