This Poem was Submitted By: Mandie J Overocker On Date: 2012-01-01 18:15:17 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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To My Children

Oh what I would do to turn back the hands of time, right all the wrongs in my life. You would never have died, no matter how hard they tried to break me, I would have stood strong. Deserving of life, as every soul is, you were precious to me, can’t you see? But life can be cruel and so was the rule when living my life at thirteen.   Being raised in a cult, I conceived you As a result of a summer’s eve ritual So that come Christmas you’d be viable, an innocent prepared for a terrible deed. Too early you were forced to be born then a choice I was given but not as how can you choose one life from the next if you choose wrong the penalty is death?   It was said the blood of the innocent meant life ever after, to take of the heart would insure we’d never be torn apart â€“ bound forever by bonds of blood to a master of nothing but disguise. Oh what I’d give to have realized the tricks, the traps and the lies; to maybe for once stand up for what’s right and demand you’d be able to live your life.   Today I stand, twenty-three years later, to honor your life cut so short  by the blade in my hand cuz I couldn't stand then as I can, now that I know it wasn’t my fault, I was an innocent too deceived by the cult into giving up you.   Not only you Alex, but the twins, David and Juliene, Mark too and Grace was taken before I knew. You all meant so much, precious souls - I pray angel wings upon your backs lift you to heaven and keep you whole until the day that we can meet again and be the family we were meant to be.

Copyright © January 2012 Mandie J Overocker

Additional Notes:
This poem and the previous one "To See You Again" were written as part of memorial ceremony to honor my five children/babies whose lives were cut short due to the trauma resulting from their mother being raised in a cult. Today I walked at Lake Brandt to a special spot where in June 2005 I buried some cards in their honor. Today, I buried these two poems and laid down 6 roses...five next to each other and one across them all - a family of six we would be today had each of them lived. To read other poems related to my children see the following: "I Wish," "Memorial of Innocence," "Indescribably Alone" and "I Cried for You Today."

This Poem was Critiqued By: Tony P Spicuglia On Date: 2012-02-03 22:12:21
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Mandie, once again I am at the end of the poetry cycle- to spend a moment and try to redeem in a few words what is far beyond my aptitude to speak to. The rhymes, scattered and redemptive, ease a bit the onerous story spoken in the tale. It makes me wonder at the questions I would ask you- I can be a blunt and unambiguous interviewer. The story is there that drives me to write- that all might hear what they don’t want to hear. It is much like -The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945- that I am reading now, of the atrocities committed by the Nazi’s and Japanese. The moments are much different, but they both make me want to stand up and scream at the world to listen and feel. So I am back to you, your verse, and this story. It is beyond me to comfort your children. Maybe I have no obligation there, but in all child abuse I learn of; I dream of the day I might have been there to prevent, or comfort. It haunts me always. As does rape. And yet this is beyond me- and to critique your verse; is that of the verse or simply a response to its construction and content? Lastly, I feel that I shouldn’t be here. Looking in is too easy a chore. I can add comfort for you to the diatribe I write. As I have told you, the need escapes my capacity. I grant it, nevertheless.

This Poem was Critiqued By: Lora Silvey On Date: 2012-01-19 07:25:59
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Mandie, Such a strong poem, well articulated with an easy flow that leads your reader through your lines without hesitance. Your word choices are spot on for your subject matter and paint explicit images on the mind and in the heart. I can not pretend to know your type of pain or sorrow but assure you that you have shared it perfectly in your accomplished write and I am humbled by your courage and strength in this offering. Best always, Lora
This Poem was Critiqued By: cheyenne smyth On Date: 2012-01-18 17:29:11
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hi Mandie, I believe this is the best poem you have written, that I have critiqued. Every line is powerful and speaks of such a horrible travesty. I remember reading about this and how it affected me. Your word selection is excellent, some stark, some sad but all crafted with care. For some strange reason the site messed with the lines in a negative way but no matter as this is a fabulous poem. How gracious of you to put roses on those graves. If you don't win the contest with this piece something is terribly wrong. Bravo! Bes wishes, cheyenne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Kay C Steward On Date: 2012-01-09 08:46:30
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Writing from your heart with deep feelings of remorse and regret for what could have been. I commend you for your honesty, sharing your pain with other writers does help us to understand in some miniscule way the pain and loss that you have experienced. I find no fault with your lines. Well done poet. Kind regards, Kay.
This Poem was Critiqued By: DeniMari Z. On Date: 2012-01-02 10:37:08
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Oh Mandie; how traumatic to have survived such an ordeal at such a young age. My heart goes out to you with knowing the pain that comes from loosing two children myself, a daughter at full term along with my grown son Shaun when he was 29 and words can only comfort the heart for a short time. The pain lives on inside and no matter how hard we try to pretend that we've not been changed by these events in life we are and it's life lasting. We never know the answers to why such cruel and unusual events transpire in our lifetime, we can only find our way through the years seeking solace in our own individual ways. Believe that you will be reunited as I believe I will see my children again in another place at another time - but for now search within your heart and be kind to yourself - no one lives through something like we have without gaining strength and that strength we have is to share with others. blessings, Deni
This Poem was Critiqued By: Kimberly D Rowe-Van Allen On Date: 2012-01-02 10:07:10
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Wow, Mandie. Very powerful! I can only imagine a small part of what you must feel. I am so sorry you went through such a terrible ordeal and I am glad you are doing something to help alleviate some of the pain you go through daily. From a poem structure, it sometimes goes in and out of rhythm with the flow of the words. I think if you placed some of the lines a bit differently, the thoughts might come across more clearly. On the other hand, the current flow also speaks to some of the kaos and confusion of the situation that one might take away from the overall subject matter. See below for what I mean about slightly changing the placement of the words Today I stand, twenty-three years later, to honor your life cut so short by the blade in my hand cuz I couldn't stand then as I can, now that I know it wasn’t my fault I was an innocent too deceived by the cult into giving up you. Thanks for sharing your powerful feelings and story. Kim
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