Atonement

A little poetry for a change

By Harry Lewis

 

She trembles slightly, standing before the big black door,

Shivering as though touched by some unseen breeze,

And yet the day is warm, the air is still,

She wonders to herself again

‘Why am I here? Can this be true?’

Her mind goes back in time, to that time,

It now all seems so long ago, when she replied,

On some impulsive, self destructive whim,

To that e-mail. She read it and some deep and awful force

Told her the time was now.

Where did it come from, how long had it been there,

Dormant like some sleeping ogre,

Dormant until that message on the internet

Brought it to life, awakened like the sleeping beauty

But surely this was never beautiful.

The messages exchanged, he seemed to be so kind

As though his very purpose was to help,

To help her overcome a force she could not understand

And when she met him, face to face, she knew

Her fate was in his hands.

And still she could not bring herself to knock

To force herself to enter, to submit

Emotions fought a battle, more fierce than any war,

She should turn and go, she knew,

And yet she stayed.

She searched within the deepest corners of her memory

Was there some childhood link,

Some thread of unrequited wickedness

That drove her now to seek this awful fate

But there was none.

How long had she been there, she could not tell,

But suddenly her courage bid her enter

And, as if in a dream, she smote the door.

A footstep came towards the other side

And in she went.

He smiled, that gentle smile, that smile that put her at her ease

And bid her come into his lounge

Where they could talk and he could tell her of his plans

And she could make her mind up, one last time

And it was done.

He led her up the stairs into a well lit, Spartan room

A simple chair and table with no ornament

But on the table; there she saw a strap and then a cane

And then she knew her fate was sealed

And soon she would feel pain.

And now he was a very different, cold and awesome man.

Commanding her to change into the simple garb

He had instructed her to bring.

Plain skirt and blouse and plainer underthings

She handed him her list.

The list of sins and faults and crimes and misdemeanours

He had bid her write, to make confession

And now she’d come to do her penance

To make atonement with this sacrifice

The time was now.

He read the list, perhaps the flicker of a smile across his face

And then a frown, he bid her look at him.

He started to berate her, tell her off,

About the parking fine, the excess drink

Bu there was more.

He came now to the major crimes, her eyes looked down

She felt the sense of shame as he read out

That she had cheated when she earned her BSc

She’d plagiarised to get a good degree

But that’s not all.

He raised his voice a little, as if to emphasise,

The shame that she should feel

At having stolen from a friend

To raise the cash to buy the white powder.

She felt so small.

He told her that he knew that these were in a time gone by

But that she had to make amends

And, yes there was just one more thing,

Her faithlessness to her last lover

How did he know.

She had not written that upon her list, how could he know

But her racing brain was brought up in its tracks.

What’s that he said? We’re ready to begin

Her stomach churned as he brought her to his side

And then she bent.

He told her he would start with modest force, but even so

She would feel the stinging from the start

He raised her skirt, she felt the shame

And then, without a warning

The first blow.

Despite her readiness she still felt shocked surprise

And then, before her thoughts were gathered

A steady rhythmic pattern as his hand

Commenced its task in earnest

The pain began.

A pause, perhaps, she thought, that this was all, until she felt

His fingers at the waistband of her pants

And with one skilled and practised movement

She was bare, her slightly pinkened buttocks now displayed

She felt ashamed.

Harder now the spanking seemed to have a life force of its own

As though it were a force of natures hand,

The stinging heat began to make its mark

But she began to find an inner strength

She wouldn’t weep.

It seemed to last so long, laying there across his knee, determined not to cry,

But feeling something, something never felt before

Except perhaps in some forgotten, distant dream

A fleeting moment, but now his hand had stopped

He made her stand.

Now he was sterner, stricter, crueller than before, he said, ‘Now bend’.

He made her put her fingers to her toes

And told her that for cheating her degree,

She would be strapped and she should now prepare herself

For real pain.

He gently touched her skin with the leather strap, it felt so cool,

But even so she shuddered at the thought

Of just how much the leather tongues might hurt

And then the first blow came, it took her breath away

But she stood firm.

Each of the dozen blows became a fire that burned her, like the very flames of hell

She could not believe that this was real.

Soon she would wake from this bad dream

And all the pain would be no more

And then it stopped.

He said that she had taken that part well, but it was slight and what was yet to come

Would be the making or the breaking of her will

Her theft and drugs could not be overlooked, she must be caned

She looked with pleading eyes, but dare not speak. He pushed her down

Across the desk.

She was to count each searing, cutting, wounding, fearful stroke

He would not tell the number she would feel

This was atonement for her sins, no children’s game,

He tapped her now already throbbing seat

She felt nothing.

Then, as though she were in a trance, she heard a swish and then a crack

As the rattan wand delivered its first kiss

A moment past and then a flood of pain

Unlike the hand or strap, this cut knifelike

This was true pain.

It tore into her body coursing through her senses like a broken dam

She could not ever have imagined this

Had she but cut in half by swordsman’s blade

It could not have caused this pain

‘One sir,’ she said.

As each succeeding stroke fell on her like a burning wire

She felt such feelings as she’d never known

By number eight the pain was now a blur

She felt that she would never live

And then it changed.

Another feeling started, creeping like the velvet night,

Those nerves once screaming for relief

Were filling up her body with a different flood

Not now just pain, but something else besides

She felt release.

A blissful state, her mind was on another, higher, sweeter plane

And she was soaring, freely like a bird

And all the feelings hidden in her mind

Were rushing wildly, transporting her

To heaven and beyond.

He watched her as she lay across the desk, he saw her tremble

Not trembling now with fear

But in the aftermath of her sweet journey to that state

Of full repentance and its sweet reward;

Atonement.


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