Poetry
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Poem: Stolen

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When I was a child around 10 years old I was sexually assaulted. I made a choice many years ago to stop treating it as a dirty secret. Although it had devastating impacts on my self-esteem, it created the man I am today. In the media recently there has been discussions of rape and sexual assault. In my case I was raped by a female (she was our babysitter) over a long period of time. In my view, society has a double standard when it comes to males and rape. The first time I told an adult about the assault, they asked me if the girl was hot; that shut me down for over 20 years. Feel to heal and tell to get well.

Stolen

Soft skin, curious eyes, tender touch

Wanting love; bird with a broken wing

Searching, craving, longing

Easter egg in a room of hammers

Salmon eggs in a river with no water

Quenching for tenderness in a house of fists

You saw me quivering

Stillness of nighttime

Taking hand in darkness

Walking to room with shadows

Secrets, frightened, shame

Tomorrows never the same

Couldn’t fly

Legs strong, wing broken

Covered in oil, eagle watching

Couldn’t shake

Desperate for love; No superheroes

Many sons; same story

No words, many tears

Childhood stolen, many “sorry’s”

Lost child, rainy nights

Aching, lonely, crying

Many ravens; more regrets

Hourglass turned over, you walked away

Innocence stolen

Boys shame, mothers pain, father covers face

Hand slips away

Stolen

Carl Meadows,

November 22, 2009

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I was born June 13, 1967. I was raised in the town of Port Coquitlam, BC within metro Vancouver. I was a non-conventional boy winning awards for choreography, dance, and led many school performance numbers before grade 6. I also competed as a figure skater and was notorious for doing cart wheels on the ice. I was bullied all through my school years and ended up going to 3 different High Schools and didn't graduate from High School as a result. This was the era of no Gay Rights in Canada. I struggled with visibility, identity and self-esteem. I am one of the lucky survivors as most of my friends died of AIDS or committed suicide. I am a prolific Poet. I graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1993 and it was one of the proudest achievements in my lifetime as it defied all those folks who said I wasn't enough. It taught me that despite hardships, I could overcome insurmountable challenges. I am committed to making the world more compassionate and doing my part by celebrating LGBT contributions to the world. Every year my husband and I host a Fall Gala for 'Out in Schools' called the 'Carl and Les Fall Gala. Part of this vision is to make sure every student in BC has the opportunity to see their self worth through LGBTQ visibility, support and action to make the world safe for everyone. I am President for the Foundation of Hope whose vision is "a world where LGBT+ refugees can live safely and be themselves". We also support a Film Series at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival called "Migrant Voices" that raises awareness of issues surrounding Refugees, Immigrants, Asylum seekers and Migrants. In my professional life, I am a Registered Nurse and a Health Services Administrator in Health Care. I live with my husband and our dog Ted.

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