Poem: 'Carmina Remembers What We All Want to Forget'

Carmina Salcido

Twenty years ago -- a vicious massacre shattered the calm of California's beautiful wine country. A 28-year-old vineyard worker went on a killing spree that crossed Sonoma county -- ambushing co-workers, murdering his wife, slashing his in-laws, cutting the throats of his three young daughters and leaving them for dead in a garbage dump.

Seven people died that day, but Ramon Salcido's tiny 3-year old daughter, Carmina, managed to survive 36 hours in the garbage dump before she was rescued.

VIDEO: Poem: Carmina Remembers
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Carmina Salcido's story is not only a tale of survival but of how the massacre affected others, including the detective who investigated it, a reporter who tracked the murderer's trail across 30 miles of wine country and the doctors and nurses who saved Carmina's life and nurtured her back to health.

Read a poem from ABC News Correspondent Jay Schadler.

Poem: Carmina Remembers

Carmina remembers

what we all want to forget

But only after we hear the story

one more time. So...

Blood and grapes

stain the Valley of the Moon

Red runs down field to furniture

robbing life…as the sun steals the fog


Carmina remembers

he took the babies first

Her sisters silently screaming like Lechter's lambs.

Daddy is Hannibal

He's mad of course

depriving her of apology or explanation

But that's a later wound

now it's a silver quick slash

lasting forever

Carmina remembers

her mom

just a photograph away from freedom

her final close-up... at an ATM machine

All goes down the dream tunnel

A memory corpse

Slaughters are buried

till the survivor...starts remembering

Carmina remembers

And returns to the Valley of the Moon

For what? To remember, of course. And forget

Watch "20/20" Friday at 10 p.m. ET to hear her story of her survival and CLICK HERE to read an excerpt of her book, "Not Lost Forever: My Story."

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