Photography by Greg Laychak

I was sold;
my youth was stolen.
Blossoms fell,
I fell with them.
Squalid, rough, mean, and shameful;
always lived in fear.

Growing up–
jaded, resenting
gems, make-up;
forced to smile.
On display, flaws ably hid;
acting out a lie.

The world changed
but I could not change.
I was owned,
never free.
What were politics to me
or geography?

Now I’m old,
I can close my legs.
I can sit,
I can wait.
Others are paid to serve me.
I still dress in silk.

(c) Gay Reiser Cannon – 2011* All Rights Reserved

A Shadorma Set based on the photograph for OneShootSunday (c) by Greg Laychak

20 thoughts on “Solitary

  1. I love the last verse, it ends on such a positive note ~ and I’m glad I’m not the only one addicted to Shadorma! : )

  2. oh, Gay, this is so powerful, shocking, and surreal. To think of what some from that generation went through, the horrors of war, etc. is heart-wrenching. A sober reminder of life’s realities.

  3. Evocative, searing, Gay. I spent six months in the nursing home next door and discovered a different reality in the wheelchair universe than what I thought was so terrible. Would enjoy your response. xxxj

  4. Excellent Gay–you’ve made the form surpass itself, totally invisible, yet adding such depth and texture under the hood. You’ve created a unique character out of a stereotype. I tip my pointy witchy hat at your surpassing skill and emotional versatility here.

  5. Dear Jenne. I am happy to know your experience was different from the ones most of us were writing about today. I do have faith in caretakers. My mother was an RN and became one because of the good care given her when she had surgery as a young girl. I was trying to capture here the story of the Comfort Women who had been sold into slavery as children, possibly even infants and spent their life in that life only to have no family or possibly even friends, only death looming after a lifetime of being shunned. It’s a sad story Mr. Laychak is telling today.

  6. I’m amazed (and inspired) by your use of this form ~ so much painted with such brevity.. as others have already said, the last is wonderful for the spirit never was never beaten ~ bravo to you…to her ~

  7. Thank you everyone for coming by to read and leaving such generous comments. It was a poignant write for me. Not imagining coming to the end of life as I give that a great deal of thought often; but imagining what it must be like to have spent a lifetime in bondage and then to live to the end with a certain dignity and strength of spirit which surely a life like that would give one. I think we all tried to find that mental state and know what it would mean living out one’s days in such a sterile impersonal space.

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