A Poem

True story

walking down 43rd street in
mid-afternoon
felt stares, three sets of eyes
absorbing me entirely.

small group of elderly men stepped
into my concrete path, they said
“you look beautiful” in their
old croaks.

I said “thanks”

they moved closer, my muscles
tightening, the sunlight of day still keeping me
seen. Their voices let out
again, they said

“could my buddy here
take a photo with you, sweetheart?”

my head yelled “I’m not your fucking
sweetheart”
my body stood, paralyzed and my
lips said “okay”

elderly man inched closer, putting his
arm around my waist and he said
“you could have it all
sweetheart.”

My mind moaned and begged to say
“fuck off” but my
legs didn’t run, my lips stayed
shut, his friend took our
photo and his wrinkled hand dropped
back to his side.

“You really are beautiful, sweetheart” his crinkled
lips seemed to smile a wicked
grin, while staying completely
neutral.

I said “thanks.”

I began to walk, wondering of that
photograph, that photograph would last
forever

as I searched for my escape, two of the
men followed, they said “that man in the
photo, he just got out of the loony bin for
killing his wife”

they laughed.

I said “wow”

I kept walking, tears falling as I
questioned the cruel joke of an
old man to a
sixteen year old girl

crying as I was told
“you’re overreacting,” “it’s no big
deal,” “men will be
men”

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2 thoughts on “A Poem

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