As I have mentioned before, my new book of poetry The Lure of Impermanence came out in July. I included in this collection a poem called 9 to 5. I wrote this poem when the #MeToo movement had just begun its groundswell.
Today, Bill Cosby was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in jail for sexual assault and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is currently being scrutinized for a number of behaviors with women that are at best disturbing. And these are just a few of so, so many more stories just like them.
I have lost confidence in the ability of the news to report in any unbiased manner and therefore I am more often than not left to my own judgment and experience by which to consider stories reported in the media.
And what my experience considers is that I personally know girls and women who have been abused by boyfriends, family members and spouses.
What I do know is that I was carried to a bedroom by a man who was much older than me when I was barely of legal age and stoned on marijuana. A man who held a position of respect in the community.
What I do know is I am shaking as I write that last sentence because I recall that night as vividly as if it were today. Only it wasn’t today. It was 45 years ago.
What I do know is that I told no one. What I do know is that I was ashamed.
What I do know is that I am someone’s mother, wife, daughter and friend and none of them knew. What I do know is I am not sure I want them to know now.
What I do know is that all women deserve the simple right to be respected and have control of what happens to her body and if I could ask anything of you it would be to consider the women you love. Consider their experience. Because it is possible that the people who love her most, don’t know the dark places she has been afraid to shed the light on. Because to do so is to expose herself to being rejected, silenced, not believed or worst yet blamed.
And until history proves it unnecessary, may we all slash, slash, slash, this roughshod blazing path.
Yours in poetry,