damaged goods

picture of the author - female with black hair

By Ruth Almodal

TRIGGER WARNING: mentions of CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE AND TRAUMA. Please read at your own discretion.


they told me it would be a rosebud

unfurling slowly 

ribbon tied 

boxed for my groom

so when he claimed me

at four, five, six?

i thought it was right

instead i was numb

and later chafed raw

chasing a stolen high

checkout on loop, scanning the past

and i was a sinner

for daring to reclaim 

a body

flame, do you see the clamshell void

and demand your money back?  

or even exchange for a newer, 

better, unused model

yes: he claimed me

and made me 

a wretched wreck

on a dusty unkempt  shelf

that nobody checks

damaged goods

This is a piece about the sexual abuse I underwent as a child, and the trauma that ensued as I came to terms with it. I chose to immortalise my experience in a poem to take control of my own narrative. It is important that we open up a dialogue about sexual assault/abuse, especially during an important month like April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

picture of author - female with black hair

Ruth Almodal

I’m a BA English Y2 student, raised by the coast and in the forest. You’ll find me in a National Trust property or watching a film. Or just crying about cute dogs.


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