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 Category:  General Poetry
  Posted: July 21, 2017      Views: 177
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Barb works at the local food bank volunteering her time at the country market. Barb has lived just about every profession there is to do. She has had a wild ride in her lifetime and uses poetry to tell everything. She is a cancer survivor. She hates - more...

She is an accomplished poet and is currently at the #7 spot on this years rankings.

She is also an active reviewer and is holding the #10 spot on the top ranked reviewer list.

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This work has reached the exceptional level

Chapter 80 of the book Family7
a cry for help - free verse
"SBS (shaken baby syndrome)" by Barb Hensongispsaca
John and his twin brother, James,
were just six months old.

They were driving their mother crazy-
not allowing her much rest.

Her nerves were wearing thin,
as her mind cracked in waves,
she thought of death,
and even worse...
she thought of three deaths.

She needed sleep
but John cried on;
he would not stop
no matter what she did.

She sternly watched him cry
over and over,
then felt herself go near the crib.

The slap descended downward,
even thought she did not know she'd hit,
she felt the sting on her hand...
but she was beyond reason.

A slap for her husband,
he was never there to help.

A slap for her doctors, too,
they didn't really care.

A slap for her mother
who died
leaving her all alone to cope.

A slap for her father
he left before she was grown.

Another slap just because
...just because;
then she picked him up
and shook.

His body shaking badly,
trying to breathe.

Her face
a stone cold look of what?

Three more shakes,
his breath was now gone,
his cries came in rasping screams.

She stood and listened
to him gasp for air.
Feeling what? Satisfied?

She listened for a minute
as his screams
turned into sobs.

Her heart found it's breaking point.
The tears still not falling
...but there.

"Dear Lord," she raged,
"I'm sorry.
This job you gave me is too hard.
I broke,
I just can't do it.
I will kill them, don't you see?"

She stood still by his crib side,
her eyes were filled with pain of life...

Her next act done in that room
would define who she really was.

Tears were finally streaming
down her face,
her heart was a stone
cracked in two.

She picked him up and held him.
She felt so all alone
as her body wracked with sobs.

The straw was now going to break,
but which direction would it go?

Then her heart began to bleed,
no more could she endure...
the straw broke.

She held him close as she dried his tears,
his body still in confused pain,
shaking with every sob.

She swore then to her Maker
that this would be
the last time.

This story's true,
it was my day of reckoning
my day of giving in

My children lived,
but, you know
this is one story had to be told.

Take a walk,
count to ten,
do what you have to do
to get control.

Stop that growing anger inside.
I've been there.

I'm here if you need to talk.


The book continues with Itsy Bitsy Scary Spider-acrostic. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Per Mayo Clinic: Shaken baby syndrome also also known as abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome, inflicted head injury or whiplash shake syndrome also is a serious brain injury resulting from forcefully shaking an infant or toddler. Shaken baby syndrome destroys a child's brain cells and prevents his or her brain from getting enough oxygen. Shaken baby syndrome is a form of child abuse that can result in permanent brain damage or death.

I am ashamed but this is true and I am writing it to bring it into the open again. Shaking a baby can cause brain damage and even death, but I think there is only a handful of parents that might not understand the rage that comes over new parents trying to cope and sleep at the same time. Add to that a very fussy baby that never sleeps, or even two that take turns sleeping, and you have a recipe for disaster.

I write to reach others. You are not alone.
Pays one point and 2 member cents. Artwork by cleo85 at

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