Scorched Earth

Strong emotion of any kind

was not viewed favorably when I was growing up

My mother

my grandmother

my aunts

my uncles

my cousins

my teachers

the parish priest

made clear to me

that I was

Too opinionated

Too smart

Too stubborn

Too questioning

Too challenging

Too sarcastic

I would always sigh and think to myself

Too me


I was told not to be angry

about this

or that

or the other thing

The list of things that it was acceptable to be angry about

was a very short  list


My whole childhood I was taught

that my anger

my rage

was a fearsome thing

that must be contained at all times

When it erupted

with teeth

and fire

in my adolescence

I was reminded again that it was to be subdued

wrestled back into its cage

kept under strict lock and key

I couldn’t quite decide if they thought I needed

an emotional chastity belt

or straight jacket


I entered adulthood

still believing that if I ever allowed

my rage to be fully unleashed

it would have the power

the suppressed energy

to ruin all my relationships

level mountains

boil the seas

pull the earth out of its gravitational orbit

destroy life as we know it

Some days

I still believe that.


© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved


  1. I come from low key people
    Muted, supposedly rational, people.
    They did not blaze. They only glowed.
    They taught no map to find
    Either ecstasy or rage.
    I’m still exploring
    Finding wonders
    And monsters.
    Going where that old map said,
    Here, there be dragons and unicorns.


  2. This is so powerful, Lady! And reminds me of those posts I see on FB which remind young people (especially women) that if you are too much for people then they don’t want you as you are. I, for one, enjoy your “too much”!

    I had a similar experience in my highschool days. It was when my identity as a poet and a writer was starting to show itself. I was very emotional about things. And I was always told that I let my feelings get the best of me too much, I was always in trouble because I didn’t know when enough was enough….I was told that wearing my heart on my sleeve would only bring misery. I can honestly say that I do not wear my heart on my sleeve. As the man I am now, I wear it on my arm and I wield it like a shield.

    I loved this piece very much.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s