Girl Child Nightmare!

Maybe He Won’t Touch You

Or what I tell myself as I pass through places I’ve been assaulted

Breathe In. Breathe Out.
They’re not here to assault you.
They’re walking past you.
They’re just walking past you.
Phew!

Oops, there it is.’Ay, Baby!’
You pick up your pace
As the little courage you have
Shatters and smears across the ground.

‘Come on. Just one time.’
You put your arms across your breasts
As if your soft hands will hide them
From their predatory eyes.

You curse yourself for walking alone
On a night, dressed in your skirt,
And your red, red lipstick
And taking a shortcut.
You should have known.

You cross the alley
And reach a lit road
And you heave in relief
Because they can’t hurt you now.
Can they?

You are just one of the thousands
They want against their body
They forget you, don’t they?
You’re just a body they want to own
A story they want to tell their buddies
Over beer and hand rolled cheap cigarettes.

But you remember the pain, the embarrassment,
The shame, the guilt.
You wash your hands with soap a hundred times
Because that man kissed you on the palm of your hand
A hundred times, on the porch swing, when you were six.
And you stop wearing your favourite colour,
Because that man tweaked your nipple
And winked at you, with a smile.
And you accidentally burnt your favourite jeans
Because that man rubbed himself against you
On the public transport you have to take every day to work.

You take detours
And panic when your male friend hugs you
You walk a little away from the crowd
A little behind everybody
Slow, but not too slow.
You walk with your bag in front of you
Hugging it, because that’s a couple more layers
Till they get to you.
You put your earphones on
So you can be in the illusion
Of being isolated in the crowd.

Breathe In. Breathe Out.
You might change the world one day.
You might stop being a woman.
You might die and get burned soon.
And your great grandchildren will hopefully never understand this poem.

you4them

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2 thoughts on “Girl Child Nightmare!

  1. It’s very hard to get over sexual assault & it feels really unfair that we should walk feeling petrified while those men walk full of pride that they think they can get away with it. Ugh! Makes my blood boil!
    Thank you for sharing this piece, it is very necessary so we can talk about what we can do.

    Liked by 1 person

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