Survivors’ Sonnets by Sandra Lyon Kramer



Violence becomes a legacy

Passed through the generations.

A birthright in millions of families

Regardless of status or origin nations.

A daughter told by a father

That she will amount to nothing,

From this man who was smacked by a mother

Who was told to believe the same thing.

Lessons of ire, lessons of power.

Lessons in how to be violent

Imparted hands-on.  We learn how to cower

And the safety of being silent.

In response to a house full of danger,

We learn to internalize anger.




Brace yourself at the front door.

Listen and look as you enter.

Always look over your shoulder.

Check yourself in the mirror

And practice a neutral expression.

Deny you’re a passive aggressor.

Try to not have an opinion


That will put you into hot water.

Become your own harshest critic.

Try to do everything perfectly.

Pretend you are not neurotic

When your brain sounds like a committee.

Learn to fear any failure.

Learn to be your own jailer.


© Sandra Lyon Kramer

The Only Words My Soul Knows

Excerpt from the book The Only Words my Soul Knows

$13.95 Plus Shipping ~ Available at CTU Publishing Group and

Sandra Kramer About the Author

Sandra Lyon Kramer is a poet, artist, and political blogger. Her first published work was an essay that appeared in the “My Turn” column of the Los Angeles Daily News in June of 1992. The following year she won The National Author’s Registry President’s Award for Literary Excellence for “Starless” and was recognized by the International Society of Poets as a Poet of Merit.

Sandra is the former owner of two free-press publications, The Anti-Press and the Reality Press, and was a contributor to the Daily News, the Daily Journal, and Antelope Valley Focus Magazine.  She now operates Tiny House Productions in the Los Angeles area and is a frequent participant in open mic events at Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural in Sylmar, California.

 Visit Sandra’s Author page at:

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