poetry, Social Commentary

Looking Down the Barrel of a Loaded Gun

You said I looked sexy in my uniform
I was barely out of primary school
You were the teacher who used to look at our legs
Then hover over our desks, with your bad breath
You were the priest who caught me around the chest
When I was helping a sick neighbour so she could get some rest
You put your hand between my legs, smiled and said nice to meet you my old friend
When I slapped you across the face you looked smug with no sign of disgrace
You asked me on a date
Then offered me a keepsake of a pearl necklace
You talked sleaze, then called me a prick tease when I decided to leave

At work you stopped by my desk
Shared a hello or a bye
I thought we became friends, nothing else
You showed me pictures of your wife and kids
You invited me to your house party but when I arrived, I was the only guest
You greeted me at the door with a towel and a bare chest

You sent me a card and the verse which read
Who needs a song, here’s a thong
With an Anne Summers briefs included
You said you’d like to fuck me rigid
Then called me frigid when I said I wasn’t interested

You called me a prude
Because I called you out for being lewd
You followed me for years, left messages for only me to hear
You never saw my fear or tears
But you made me disappear
A little every day

I locked all of this away
My freedom and my innocence curtailed in ways I can’t explain

Often accused by friends of being difficult, too choosy or critical
A tough nut to crack, or harsh, are words I’m familiar with
Whenever in passing I mentioned anything of my experiences
Eyes would often look away with discomfort and disbelief
I would change the subject, it was like a grief, to others a relief
I was accused of being superficial, superior, full of it
As if the passes were an indication of my gold star status, my merit
But in reality I felt inferior, disappointed in the judgement and discredit
Of a society that allowed this behaviour with attitude to continue

I didn’t have the strength to discuss, I just gave it the finger
I was aloof, remote, detached, I built a wall of distrust
I didn’t linger
For a time my open happy nature replaced with disbelief and disgust
Conversation filled me with apprehension, could it trigger unwanted attention?
It made me meaner, to anyone who showed the slightest flicker of interest

I missed out in so many ways, I realise that I felt alone and perhaps a little bit to blame
I moved on and built a life but yet there was always something missing
A part of me that I kept hidden
Then across the world, brave women started standing up
Sharing their stories, #Metoo  resonated with all of us
Not concentrated in one location or occupation
After all it’s a global contagion
Regardless of stature or sex we all know right from wrong
Sometimes it just takes a throng to build a battle and see justice done
Greed, prestige, stature or net worth
No longer an obstacle to being heard
So listen up
If you make comments or touch without being asked
Walk or stand too close
Abuse, misuse or make another feel uncomfortable and unclean
By your words and deeds
Don’t be dumb, take heed
The echo is swelling and it won’t go away
Your sexual aggression, makes an impression, call it oppression or by another name ABUSE
And it’s against all of us
Restricting and confining another persons rights for your delight
Won’t happen without a fight regardless of what name is used
Take responsibility for your actions
You know it’s wrong, it’s not your entitlement
Accept the enlightenment or run
As you are looking down the barrel of a loaded gun

© Pamela Morrison


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