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 The Ritual


Covers up over the chin,

tucked in around my body

Teddy hugged closely to my chest,

arms crossed

Legs stiff out straight,

clamped together and

crossed at the ankles

Breathing quiet and shallow,

until it virtually disappears

Closet doors shut all the way

Bedroom door opened wide

Supersonic hearing activated

Eyes focused on the open door


Is this the way all 7 year old

girls prepare for sleep?


Cynthia L. Bryant ©June 12, 1994

My poem The Ritual was my first prompted poem, while in therapy

to deal with my sexual abuse as a child. One day on a whim, I sent it

into a National Contest I had read about in The Healing Woman. 

I won third place in the Morris Center, San Francisco Contest. The

poem was published by them and later The Healing Woman and I was

asked to read it with others I had written at an event at the Morris

Center. That is where my life-saving poetry began.

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Dear Cynthia,        September 4, 2019


The Ritual spoke to me as no other writing has. And it spoke for me. I think it speaks for others who don’t have a voice. You are brave and appreciated. 


Thank you for your poetry. 


Best regards,

Cynthia Lane


Puyallup, WA


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