Sunday, May 25, 2014

In Response to #YESALLWOMEN on Twitter

After the recent shootings involving a man who was upset that women didn't find him attractive, etc, the hashtag #YesAllWomen popped up on Twitter.  I read several of them and retweeted a few.  In my lifetime I have had the misfortune to encounter a number of men who had the notion that my life and my body was not my own to command.  I have PTSD (most likely for the rest of my life) due to the most horrid of these encounters.  I wrote the following poem about one of these encounters more than 10 years after it occurred because I simply couldn't deal with it until then.  In light of the #YesAllWomen hashtag I felt compelled to share it here.

Bobby's Night Out

-copyright 1999

Bobby had the devil’s eyes
Bluer than any fair cloudless sky
He smiled and tried to pull us girls in
But his thoughts were clearly full of sin
I had flirted I must admit
But I never asked to be made to submit
Bobby disapproved of my friend Rick
This was because Bobby was a red neck
He told me as the tape unwound
That Rick wasn’t the type I should be around
Tape that bound my little hands
Bobby showed me how he was a man
And the things I should do to please
As I tried to beg for my release
“You don’t need that nigger,” he said with a grin
I pulled away. I wanted it to end.
His blue eyes clouded over
I wished that I could run for cover
Angry that I pulled away, he yelled
“See it wasn’t that bad!” No, it was hell.
But I was smart and I stayed quiet
Though I was scared and my mind a riot
The tape that held me was unwound
But the words he spoke kept me bound
“Stay with your own kind,” he said,
“the only good nigger is one that’s dead.”
So I walked away that night
With my life I made my flight
Away from Bobby and his tape
The memory of which my nerves still grate
But in my shame I left behind
Rick, my friend, who’d been so kind
I left them both for fear of worse
Of all that happened that night to curse
I regret that I fell to pressure and fear
I regret that I walked away from someone dear
The past I cannot change
My future though is yet to be arranged
I can walk away from him
With the devil’s eyes and sin
Away from the prejudice and the pain
His views are what will now be restrained
This senseless act of violence
Is not a hate crime that will leave me silenced
I will chose who is MY own kind –
I will walk in truth and no longer be blind.

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