Guest Poet #4: Ruth Cox

Today’s post will not only celebrate National Poetry Month but will call attention to Child Abuse Prevention Month. I thank Ruth for her brave poetry and her willingness to share her experiences with others. It is a privelege to feature her on my blog, but at the same time, I must warn my readers: This poem, like my novel, deals with a mature theme.

Meet Ruth Cox: Born and bred unto the pain of poverty and abuse, Ruth Cox often shares the darkest days of her life in her poetry and prose. Her storytelling is inspired by her desire to be a voice for the victims of such demons and hopes that in so doing, the cries of the victims shall be heard. Cox believes “a bit o’ sunshine can always be found peekin’ out o’ the clouds” and has spent a lifetime spreading “nuttin’ but sunshine” with her sun-bespeckled ink.

To get “a bit o’ sunshine” every day, you can find Ruth here:

Immersion of a Rape Victim

©2009 Ruth Cox

I jerk back the shower curtain

as I force the knob to feed full blast.

Piping hot water pours into the porcelain tub

as I remove the tattered shreds from my torn skin.

I slip into the water…

to scald the remains from my weakened flesh.

You violated my body with your sickening stench.


I drain the tub, refill it, slip into it once again…

to flush the raging visions from my head.

You raped my sanity with your vicious vulgarity.


I drain the tub, refill it, slip into it once again…

to cleanse the blood dripping from my spirit.

You pierced my heart with your blade.


I drain the tub, refill it, slip into it once again…

to defy the repitition of the hellish torture.

You demanded I yield to the blows of your battering ram.


I drain the tub, refill it, slip into it once again…

to soak droplets of venom falling from my eyes.

You shot your poison within me.


I drain the tub, refill it, slip into it once again…

to avenge the agony of life and limb.

You defiled every cell of my being with your demonic desire.


I drain the tub, refill it, slip into it once again…

to drench the darkness into light.

You stole my very soul.


Seven baths have not rid me of you…

seven days, seven months, nor seven years shall rid me of you.

Seven decades might rid me of you…

by then I may have died.

NBTAM Discussion Guide: Abstinence Education

Counselors, Teachers, Parents, and Youth Group Leaders:

Nothing but Trouble after Midnight has been regarded as an excellent tool for broaching abstinence education. Please use the questions below as a springboard for discussions on such pertinent, yet difficult, topics.



NBTAM Discussion Guide: Abstinence Education

What are qualities of a healthy relationship? 

What are qualities of an unhealthy relationship?

Can a relationship be both healthy and unhealthy?

What are some positive aspects about Chloe’s relationship with Austin?

Is positive the same as healthy?

Why does Chloe choose abstinence?

Is it possible to remain abstinent?

Why does Rob choose abstinence?

How does the rape change Chloe?

How does the rape change Rob’s feelings about Chloe? 

Why was Chloe afraid to tell about the rape?

Are Chloe’s relationships more damaged by the actual rape or her thoughts about herself based upon being raped?

*Discussion questions were created by Ann Williams, MS Ed, a clinical therapist who specialized in abstinence education.*