Elena TorrySchrag

On Being A Woman At Night - Poem by Elena TorrySchrag

I'm talking about keys
clenched between knuckles,
back straight,
eyes forward,
Teeth bared.

I'm talking about walk fast,
walk fast,
walk faster.
Don't look, don't react.
I'm talking about Baby, Sweetheart, Sugar,
(Endearments my mother called me turned sour in the mouths of men)
I'm talking about being named.

Hands balled into fists,
Voice a siren.
My body is mine.
My body is a weapon.

They cannot hurt me
They cannot hurt me
They cannot hurt me

(They can)

I'm talking about 13 years old
and somebody whistling,
expecting me to obey.
I have grown up under the watchful eyes of men,
not all of them kind.
Sometimes womanhood isn't a choice.

My parents didn't lie:
There are no monsters under the bed.
They are out on the street,
lurking in the half-light,
waiting to turn me into something they can consume.

Topic(s) of this poem: fear, feminism

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Poem Submitted: Friday, June 9, 2017

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