My Stepmother Responds to My Recovered Memory

When we talk about the time
I spent in the state hospital,

you say
that you remember me
climbing a tree.

“Your father was so proud.”

I remember other things,

like the doctor
and his hands

and the pretense
of routine.

Well, you say.

I’m sorry you had to endure that,
but it’s not like you were raped.

WIN_20150716_175715 (3)Sarah Nichols is a writer living in Connecticut. Her first chapbook, The Country of No, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2012. Her second book, Edie (Whispering): Poems from Grey Gardens, will be published this fall by Dancing Girl Press. Her work has also appeared in the Found Poetry Review and Porkbelly Press’s Emily Anthology (2015).



  1. Hi, author here. This poem came from my experience of telling my stepmother about being sexually abused by a doctor in a state psychiatric hospital when I was fifteen. I repressed the memory for a long time, but it came back to me in 2013. When I told her what had happened to me, her response was exactly what I say at the end of the poem.

Comments are closed.