Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Blackberry Bruised Moon


I’m daddy’s girl,

blackberry bruised

moon shadow of dread.


I never speak because

the walls listen and

tattle tale to ears

that grow fists.


Inside my head words

walk my teeth trying

to find an exit, but

any sound they risk

would open a river of blood.


Hell has a cradle, a salt thread quilt.

Daddy owns a Bible…I hold the truth.


For everything there’s a season,

Now’s the time for Daddy's blackberry bruised moon

to shine light on his guilt.

©Susie Clevenger 2021

May the Turpin children never know horror again.

House of Horrors

Created from Shay's Word Garden Word List #2 (Plath)

Words I chose are highlighted in list

Word List: blackberries, brag, coiled, counterfeit, daddydithers, exitgobbledygoo,

hearing, idiot, lilies, lioness, mailed, maniacs, mend, moon, peacocks, shadows, space, water


  1. Ears that grow fists--that's both brilliant and terrifying. The Turpin case is such a heart breaking thing. I don't understand such cruelty and don;t want to. I'm just so glad that the children are out of that situation now. Its unspeakable.

    In a happier vein, I am so happy that you came by and wrote for my list prompt, Susie!

  2. I love that title, Susie. These children bruised and abused almost to death, 13 of them, the horror is unimaginable and yet it happened. Thank you for the link to the article. I remember reading about them. These lines struck me powerfully: "Hell has a cradle, a salt thread quilt./Daddy owns a Bible…I hold the truth." A truth that apparently has one of them writing Christian pop music now, and that gives hope for their carrying through. As a survivor, I can attest to that. Here in this dark poem, you've provided "light": "Daddy's blackberry bruised moon/to shine light on his guilt." There's strength in that.

  3. Darkness can't be denied in this world, and it's one of our jobs as poets to lay it out for the light to paralyze it. My own history makes this piece especially moving and frightening--the"blackberry bruises,' what an image! Sometimes we have to keep on writing in the dark until we reach the other side.

  4. "ears that grow fists" - most excellent!

  5. This is full of power and the anger that overcomes because of it's strength to move on. I love this Susie!


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