Frozen Charlotte

She waits on her bed in the basement room,
silent and cold as the driven snow.

She waits for the man to come in the night,
cold as the frost-dogged moon.

She calls him Mister and his face is mean,
cold as a stone in a mountain stream.

Fear melts her mouth to do what he wants,
cold as a lollipop wrapped round a stick.

Her sister watches, eyes bleak and black,
chilled by the shivers she can’t control at

the thought of tomorrow. Charlotte swears,
cold, hard, her voice ice and iron:

“I’ll kill him before he starts on you”.
She feels the knife blade cold in her hand.

But first he ties her arms to the bed,
cold as a corpse laid out on the slab.

She watches her sister’s tears as they turn
to icicles burning her wan white cheeks.

And Charlotte lies frozen and frozen she dies,
cold as permafrost fathoms deep.

Now it’s her sister who’s tied to the bed
and Charlotte’s cold baby is next in line.

Her spirit watches, trapped in black ice,
as another Charlotte is bundled away

to make room for a new girl, new Mister, in
a landscape as vast as the Arctic wastes

of frozen girls and angry men
in a hell freezing over since life began.