“Bang, Bang”


She stood outside the window looking in;

Her parents and the colored lights recall

a celebration known as Christmas when

all hearts are light and people’s cares are small.

She stood outside the window looking in

but dare not leave the shadows. There’s a pause;

her hair entwined with twigs; her knee is skinned.

Her lips are bruised ; new boots are scraped with claws.

Four schoolboys offer her a ride that night.

Her devastation comes from shame within; 

she cannot face their laughter and her fright

has frozen her emotions with her sin.

Age fourteen, her naivete now dead;

her girlhood’s over; older life now led.

(Age of this true story: many years.  Yes, she remembers every detail.  Reason for not reporting:  “they would never have believed me against the 4 of them.”  Remembering that time in history, she was probably correct.  Damned if you tell and damned if you don’t.  Is a new age coming? We need to teach our daughters how to better fight back against abuse.  There is an old Nancy Sinatra song, “Bang, Bang” that is so poignant (1966).  Women have been victims too long.  Maybe we can start teaching our young how to fight back and survive without being murdered in a cornfield in the future.)

Heart of the Jaguar”




Without a word she dropped to the ground.

Stunned, Trish tries to open her eyes. Her vision spins in a whirlpool of bright light. She sees the swirling of red, yellow and blue-green leaves but is blinded to anything else.  Blood trickles down around her cheek and into the valley of her neck as she lay in the mushy, cold mud along the path of a Central Park jogging trail. Her hand touches the side of her face and she winces. Her jaw is broken.  The pain intensifies as she slips, again, into unconsciousness.

The day began with such beauty as the sun rose in Central Park. An inveterate jogger, Trish knew she had no time that morning. She would look forward to her jaunt later that evening as a welcome relief from the stress of her job at the investment firm.

Momentarily, the fog clears but she cannot believe her vision. It appears she is again in her beloved Zimbabwe and remembers her student days at the Embassy. A jaguar is climbing a tree nearby. Could this be? Why does he seem frozen in position? Nothing seems real anymore. And everything appears halted, jammed like the progress of a movie film as it sticks in its path through the sprockets.  She tries to move but her body is paralyzed as in a dream.

Perhaps, this is  a dream, she thought, as she slips into coma.

The medics reach her 4 and a half hours later. Brutally raped, beaten and left for dead, she suffers a fractured skull and facial fractures and loses three-fourths of her blood. The doctors at Metropolitan Hospital expect her to die. They later attribute her survival to the cold weather and the cold mud in which she lay for hours which reduced the internal swelling.

“I was bruised on every part of my body but the soles of my feet. Why did I survive? I’m not sure. I think healing is as much a function of the heart as it is of medicine”, she said.

(This short based on a true story. Trisha Meili later wrote a book about the rape and her survival: “I Am the Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope and Possibility”.)


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