Monday, April 19, 2021

Trauma Warrior, Despair Whisperer by Mary Sue Barnett ARCWP


Let us walk-

if you like,

I can hold your hand

In step together,

feet on soil,

gently in sync,

At Sunrise. Its

soft hues greet 

your angst, Its 

warm glow meets 

your pain, Its 

low-lying fog gives

you fragile light,

a tentative beginning,


Squeeze my hand-

if you will, that

our shared energy

becomes a citadel 

of concealment,

for any moment

you must flee

inside yourself.  

Inside yourself, is

where you are—a

fortress of silence 

protecting your face,

your life. 

In step together,

feet on soil, we are

gently in sync, as I

hear your trauma. 

In perfect stillness,

like a barred owl 

calling from its 


your screams careen

but leave no echoes. 

Though apathetic 

the world, your piercing cries

resound in my being. 


Feet on soil,

under a wide, bright sky

I watch you—with love,

as a calm, warm wind,

wraps you round.

At Midday—as if the universe

shifts, you speak;

I tried to tell

but was shushed

I tried to tell 

but was hushed

I tried others, blank stares

I tried once more, told

it was my fault. 


Feet on soil, the day

grows long, our path

stretches out—when a mist 

falls, At Evening, 

onto our bodies,

a natural Evensong

of comfort—for the

silencing, for all

the betrayals.

We clean wounds,

we bind pain,

we share hurt,

we carry the burden. 

From bloodstains,

I do not look away. 


On a blanket—of

soft Spring grass,

we rest, At Sunset,

aglow in dusk aura. 

I look into your eyes,

no longer do you shudder. 

Deep Night

We walk together,

the darkness—gathered tightly 

around us. 

If during the night,

your stomach aches,

your bowels squirm— your wounds 

are laid open,

a universe of kindness 

is present to behold you. 

The doors of

the citadel of protection 

will fling open

You and I,

wrapped in a cloak

of deep breathing, 

sprinkled with

Evensong mist, 

our footsteps one—

you can flee 

inside yourself, where

the light is. 

We are gently,

in sync—my being

interwoven with yours.

At Deep Night,

in the soil of your 

good and beautiful heart,

you are safe.

Rev. Mary Sue Barnett

Hospital Chaplain

Founder of Louisville CEDAW

Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month 

April 2021

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