Family Photos, 1879 by A.S. Ford

I am not a silent poet

The petticoat slides down

her breasts and legs,

the corset is cut.

Click … click

Thirteenth birthday a week ago,

ginger cake and bitter lemonade.

Now locked in the secret room

with her father’s silhouette.

Click. Click.

Sprawled on the bed,

a death pose,

he throws her a single sheet

to hide one thing but show the rest.

Click. Click … Click.

She watches him while he directs;

too scared to touch her

too eager to stop …


Says she should forgive him

that it is somehow normal.




he will remove his breeches

for those framed moments.

While she cries, wondering

how long until

                        those won’t be enough.

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