No – Michelle Schaper



I often forget how damaged I am, bluffing my way through life with an over rehearsed self confidence to hide my vulnerabilities. But when I am reminded, all the tiny broken pieces of me stab the back of my eyes and my rebel heart raises its hackles like a frightened cat. Fragments of my dusty soul attack itself from the inside out and crawl underneath my skin leaving splinters of bad memories to poison my veins once more. The bitter taste of someone else’s words hit the back of my mouth like a swarm of bees building their hive, making a new home as a lump in my throat that can’t decide if it needs to come up or go down. Then my swollen tongue licks away the memory of a resisted kiss hiding upon honey bee lips, stinging from the thoughts swirling in my arteries, turning my heartbeat into a drum kit at a rock and roll concert. The face of the drummer is blurry, buried deep in the stillness of my mind, his drumsticks have metal blades, held to my neck to hold me still. Arms pinned to the cold ground where he gave me these nightmares. But no, I will not allow the echoes of reality to play out their song. No, I will not be dragged again to that dark alleyway. No, the word written on my face that night, no, two letters embossed upon my skin left bruised and aching. No, a little word not understood by so many.

I will grab hold of these sharp edges of painful memories and use them to carve a path straight to my dreams.

© Michelle Schaper 2016




Michelle Schaper is a single mum of two beautiful daughters from Australia.
She began writing poetry as a little girl when she was raised as an only child by her adoptive parents. At age eight she wanted to write her own book so her dad brought her a typewriter and she taught herself to type and made that book by hand! Michelle has overcome many hardships and considers herself lucky to be alive. She was attacked and beaten near to death by two rapists at age fifteen, then encountered a series of violent relationships. Her dreams of writing were put on hold for some time as she studied counselling/psychology for personal growth and has worked for the past twelve years supporting people with disabilities,(or as Michelle likes to say ‘enhancing people’s abilities’.) Michelle is a mentor/advocate for disabilities and mental health, social training to support independence and inclusion within a community. Her own daughter has been diagnosed with anxiety disorders and much more but Michelle chooses to look beyond labels to see the person. ‘Soul Kissing’, Michelle’s first published book of playful poetry and prose is now available on Amazon and other online bookstores. You will find more of her musings on Instagram and Facebook.

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