Memory demands acknowledgement.

We may plan and prod it

into something quite remarkable–

a celebration complete with the grandiosity of parties, finery, expense.

Most often,

I suspect,

a memory is blinked into recollection,


yet tinged by sadness or delight.

A scent




invites it to take shape in front of us

and we are immersed in the moment once again.

I came upon a raw moment of memory as I listened to stories of

survivors of sexual violence.

That is the premise of this reflection:

The Anniversary

I dressed up pretty today.

[a mighty effort to repel the devils that pull and torture my psyche.]

This is the day it happened,

the anniversary.

I will not let that memory mar this happy day,

my independence day.

No flags or bands.


I dressed up pretty

in a new dress I bought to celebrate.

But I was tired and I left early,

weeping over words that cut into my soul.


I  dressed up pretty.

I went home.

I drank some vodka.

And I cried.

©Nancie Chmielewski updated 4/10/15


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