by Sarah Frances Moran

I am waiting
inside the church of my childhood.
Hoping to find God, understanding
in the same way I wait,
for the same understanding from my father.
Waiting and waiting and waiting
on my knees, until they’re bruised and aching.
I am waiting to muster the same faith
and love for Jesus, my mother has.
Waiting to forget all the moments,
he’s never shown up for me and all of the unanswered prayers and pleadings.

I am waiting for a day when
nightmares don’t jolt me awake
and waiting to stop recollecting the way his fingers
raked across my skin like sandpaper.
I am waiting to shed that memory like a snake sheds its skin.
I am waiting
to actually shed my skin.
Waiting, for all that pain to slough off.

Worried over the waiting
and worried that if the waiting ever stops
that if the bad all sloughs away
what would be left?

I am waiting, to stop waiting
on healing.
Hoping that if a hero shows up to hold out a hand
she’ll find more than a skeleton.

I am waiting for the memorialization of that hell to cease
and what that will leave of me.

IMAGE: “Sitting with Snake (Self-Portrait)” by Kiki Smith (2007)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Frances Moran began writing in the ninth grade out of a desire to help others, and her writing has evolved into full-blown insistence on changing the world. Her aim is to poetically fight for love and harness the type of tender violence needed to push love forward. She strongly believes that words have immeasurable power. Originally from Houston, Texas, she moved to Waco pursuing love. She was recently chosen as the featured poet for the Waco Poet’s Society and The Word Gallery. Her work has appeared in The Bitchin Kitsch, Harbinger Asylum, Digital Papercut, eFiction India, The Boston Poetry Magazine’s online zine and will also be featured in their Spring 2015 issue. Her work is equal parts frustration, hope, anger, advocacy, and love. At the heart of it, she’s a stick-a-love-poem-in-your-back-pocket kind of poet. She’s a huge advocate for animal welfare and works daily to combat pet overpopulation. She resides in Waco, Texas, with her partner and their menagerie of four-legged critters. You can reach Sarah on her website or on Facebook.