That was the day I pushed off from the wall with my palms,
I lunged at the throat of the coward,
And I hissed in his face, “no more.”
Girls are taught:
“Just ignore him.”
“He just likes you.”
“Just walk away.”
Every solution includes the minimizing adverb,
That turns the knife around to stab the victim.
They’re embarrassed by her pain, but not by the attack.
“Pretend it never happened; don’t talk about it.”
Horrified, his eyes grew wide, as I crushed his windpipe,
He never thought I’d fight,
And he gasped out, “whore.”
Women are told:
“He’s just a man.”
“He was just mad.”
“Just brush it off.”
The minimizing adverb rears its head again.
The excuses made for the perpetrator reveal
His superiority. Her insignificance. Their indifference.
“You had to have seen the signs; you made your bed.”
I stared at the dead body on the ground before me.
At least this part was over.
But I’d hardly “won the war.”
I was told:
“There’s help out there, just ask.”
“You can’t just murder people.”
“What if we all exacted vigilante justice?”
When it all is minimized, what defense can we raise?
Don’t greedily expect fairness, respect or chivalry.
Ladies, accept your lots and make the best of them.
It looks like they’re only going to get worse.
more by VK LYNNE
photograph by Patrick Fore