Beautiful Feet is a Native American from Oklahoma and a survivor of human trafficking, sexual assault, and domestic abuse. Beautiful Feet’s submission is a collection of poems which display a variety of trauma informed works from the last 12 years of her life.
To Catch the Rain, There is Earth
It never rains, so when it does, we celebrate
If the sky looks dull, or heavy
We dance the rain dance to the crash in a rain stick.
We played in the warm rain,
Kneaded the earth the next day with bare feet,
Covered each others’ skin and hair
With the mud, and ran through the streets knowing we’d be seen but not recognized.
And after the sun took the rain from our earthy shells,
We washed it away and entertained new, soft skin.
There would still be dirt on us, later you would find it in the oddest places,
But it is true, you can’t wait for rain,
to wash away your dirt.
Those who wait will be seen, but not recognized.
I clench in stillness every time I hear a door struggling to open, or close.
Doors whose frames have been offset
By shakes set off by tiny earthquakes.
I feel them.
But other people are shocked to find out that they occur, they have to hear about it on the tv or radio before they believe it.
And by then it’s just an interesting fact.
I think I’m the only one who’s put two and two together that the house frames are off
Because of these tiny shakes and tremors
That no one feels but me.
But I’m not crazy,
It’s like how someone who’s broken a bone knows it’s gonna rain,
They know because they feel the pain
Again. Where they were once broken.
I feel it too, when the door frame resists.
Because I See
I forgive you for all the secrets you told,
Because you made them believe more lies.
I forgive you for tearing down so many walls,
Because you salvage the good bricks for a new one.
I forgive you for letting them in,
Because they get trapped.
I forgive you for getting them lost,
Because it distracts the weak wanderers.
I forgive you for the flood,
Because everything is lost downstream.
I forgive you for wandering off,
Because I would have (never?) seen it coming.
I forgive you for scaring me,
Because you never touched me.
I forgive you for closing,
Because it gave me time to escape.
I forgive you for all these things,
Because you have shown me this beautiful sight called life.
I am a handmade doll, carefully crafted by His hand.
He sent me into this world so I might make it as beautiful as I am.
But with tears in His eyes, He watched me become broken and abused.
Many were to blame but none were accused.
Oh how it hurt the Maker to see His creation suffer, and with a pain in his heart,
He watched me glue myself back together over time, which i guess makes me plastic in a way,
But that is the result of not asking to be helped with the stitching.
I handed Him the glue,
But He started to paint, brilliant colors of his great love,
Making me as bright, as the sunshine above.
Because needles hurt, tears stain, that’s why God wants you whole again.
The things you forget
Or maybe the things you didn’t know then
I thought he was there for me
But there was consequences if I didn’t do what he wanted
Only there for me when I woke up
Only there to use me
When I wasn’t conscious
When I wasn’t fighting
When I had no choice
You can always walk away
Until you have no where better to go
Until they’re the ones glad to have you around
Until they offer you better…
Offer you “the life”
Until they drug you
But you walked through the door
So you made the choice
And you know what they say,
You pay the price
With your life, with your mind, with your body
How much longer will I pay for this
With my mind
You can always walk away
But sometimes all you can do is look away
I looked away
From him, from them, from my own pain,
From my heart, my life
I couldn’t walk away…
Now I don’t close my eyes
I’m always looking
Looking out for her, for them, for my own pain, for my heart, my life
I don’t live the nightmare anymore
But oh if I close my eyes
I couldn’t look away…
Could you? Look away?
From her, from him, from them, from our pain,
From our hearts, our lives
You can always walk away,
Isn’t that what you tell us?
What if you didn’t walk away…
If you didn’t look away, so we could.
Could you keep watch for a while, step in for a while…
So we can rest, and stop running.
And walk free
Beautiful Feet is a Native American from Oklahoma and a survivor of human trafficking, sexual assault, and domestic abuse. Residing now in Colorado, she has started Beautiful Feet Wellness, an organization that helps survivors find a healthy lifestyle through fitness, wellness, and spiritual growth. Beautiful Feet has used poetry for years as an outlet and a way to express her experiences, turning the darkness of her trauma into something beautiful. This collection of poems displays a variety of trauma informed works from the last 12 years of her life.