Escape Poem: the fear of safe.

By Monica C. Voskamp

Ever want to just escape? All the emotion. All that’s hidden in you? All that’s exposed of you?

A picture of me swimming under water, back when I was 20.

That’s how I felt this week. Writing about rape this week was like an emotional unlocking. Unlocking of images I wished I could hide. Memories and moments, I want to deny. People, I wish I could erase from my reality. Abuse, I wish wasn’t part of my story.

Everything in me wanted, wants to run, to hide so far away. This week I longed for the ocean, for a hiding place. I wanted to swim all by myself somewhere far away. Somewhere safe. With the men that have mistreated me, I don’t feel safe. With ordinary men, I’m afraid.

The rapist held me as I cried, and its all so skewed. Those arms have been one of few hugs, I’ve been vulnerable to and pegged wrongly as a place of safe. My heart is torn. I want to escape, but where, where O God, is safe?



By Monica C. Voskamp

I can’t escape.

These emotions haunt me,

Hound me. Trap me.

Some try to drown me,

With fear.

I can’t escape,

I don’t want to admit

These harsh realities.



I want so much to run away.

To the oceans edge.

Let my skin be embraced,

By water’s vast sanctuary.

It’s the place I can move

My body free.

Unhindered by the outside world,

The place I can just be

Moving in fluid harmony.

It’s the place I can linger,

The place I can breathe,

The soul of me.


Let cool waters soothe me,

Let silk waters clothe me,

Just let me be me.

I’ll escape the pain of reality,

And for a moment,

I’ll feel safe.



I just want to escape,

This heartache.

This pain that has

Planted a cruel root

In me.

The Ocean, life’s oceans,

Call me every day.

And yet often, I stay


I’m afraid to escape,

To a beautiful place

Where I feel,

Free,  happy, and safe.



What if there is no escape?

What if there is no safe?

What if like my pain,

Like my fear,

Like my tormentors,

The ocean lies to me

And says there is no such thing as




I will wrestle with you.

I will wrestle with

The need to run.

The need to stay.

The desire for free.

The desire for safe.

The fear of lies.

The fear of deceit.



Can I trust you

To bring me relief

To bring me free,

Will you bring my soul,

To a place of




I can’t escape

This desire to be safe

This desire to be free

This desire is alive in me.



I can’t escape,

This longing to sink

Into a moment’s longer hug

A hug where I won’t be robbed.


God, do you hear that?

I want to be in a hug not robbed.

Where is this place eluding me?

Because I want to feel, to find, to live

In that place.

I want to escape to,


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