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The Wedding Night Nightmare: a Poem

Maria is a master of public health, and a master gardener. She & husband Bo, known online as The Gardener & The Cook are in coastal Alabama.

People heal from emotional and physical trauma at different stages. For some, it takes longer than others.

The pain, and the lack of trust can return when least expected. The fear, a type of PTSD, returns when least expected. A sudden movement. A fragrance or odor. Anything can bring it all back.

For women who have been abused, it can harm otherwise good relationships. Often the innocent new partner feels he is paying for the crimes of the ex-husband or ex-boyfriend.

This is my first attempt at writing a poem. I wrote it almost twenty years ago when I was doing the “morning pages” of Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. I was thinking back on some counseling sessions, and it came pouring out of me – when I least expected it.

Some of the offenders are men who are angry at women in general. Some are men who want to control “their” women. Some are young boys or young men who are over eager at their first sexual experience — I believe this is what the poem below describes.

Love is patient and kind.

Love is patient and kind.

Why did you hurt me so?

How is it you can still hurt me,

After all these years?

You know I want to forget,

To move forward,

To love,

To laugh.


Why did you need to take my innocence

So brutally that night?

That lovely night?

When I see your face

Or hear your voice,

I shudder.

I cringe.

I feel such anger,

Such a betrayal of trust,

Of love and dignity.

That fear,

That anger,

That loss of dignity and trust

Has stayed with me.


It touches everyone around me.

It spills over into everything I do,

Or try to do.

Into every relationship.

Where was tenderness?

And caring?

And patience?

It was, you know,

Our wedding night.

© 2021 MariaMontgomery

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