Thursday, June 13, 2019

"Beautiful Noa" by Mary Sue Barnett ARCWP

Noa Pothoven was raped at 11 years of age and then again by two men when she was 14. 
She suffered from depression and anorexia, and attempts at suicide. 
She was treated in mental hospitals numerous times, having to be placed in a coma in order to feed her when she was dangerously thin. 
She wrote a book to help others suffering similarly. 
At age 15 she went on her own to the end-of-life-clinic at The Hague to request euthanasia but was turned down because of her age. She said she couldn’t wait until she was 21 to be evaluated for euthanasia. Her parents, family, and doctors tried desperately to help her. 
She would not eat or drink and finally they decided not to intervene. Noa died on June 2, 2019 in Holland.

Poem by Mary Sue Barnett ARCWP
Beautiful Noa

Tell it!
Tell it to
the world,
to countries,
courts,
religions.
Yes, tell it
to The Hague—
Rape is evil. 
Shout it down. 
Pray it down. 
Stalk it. 
Exorcize it. 
Annihilate it. 

It burst into
your “house,” 
your body,
Noa. 
A fatal toxin
seared your soul,
the sanctuary 
of your selfhood,
crushing your girlhood, 
stealing your joy. 

“I’m still breathing,
but no longer alive,”
you explained
as rape trauma
defaced your spirit, 
afflicted your being,
though you labored 
to heal,
fought to 
survive. 


Women, 
men,
humanity,
Come!

‘‘Tis the hour 
to scale the
mountain,
‘Tis the moment 
to trek
the sharp 
ascent. 

Fueled with
compassion 
for her 
unbearable suffering,
take the arduous steps. 

Driven by 
her tragedy,
seek the distant skies. 

Drawn into future,
chant the truth—
“Rape is evil. 
Shout it down. 
Pray it down. 
Stalk it. 
Exorcize it. 
Annihilate it.”

Women, 
men,
humanity,
Come, circle now
round the 
mountaintop!

Shhh, listen,
be silent. 

You can 
sense Noa
in the expanse
of sun
and clouds. 

You can 
feel Noa 
in the softness 
of the breeze. 

You can
know Noa,
in shining foliage 
everywhere. 

She’s being free. 
She’s being recreated. 
She’s being beautiful. 

Beautiful as the sun!

Shhh, listen,
be silent. 
‘‘Tis only an
eternity to 
hear her song. 

Tell this 
to the 
world too. 



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