Sunshine in the City

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

(a poem)

I suppose you woke up today
and thought – “what should I do?”

And perhaps the first ideas that came to mind were good ones.
But looking for a job takes too much time
and you haven’t visited your family
or read a book in months.

So maybe you were stumped.
I get it. I’ve been there too.
But I can also say that I’ve never been at the point
where I’d confuse,
and objectify someone
waiting at a train station.

Unlike you I’ve never felt the need to touch
some young stranger’s hair, just because it was nearby
or I thought it looked pretty.
But maybe that’s just me.

Maybe I’m the only person out there who has
Never wanted to reach out and touch someone’s
blonde curls while she sat, talking on the phone.

But I doubt it. Because you and all your
“hey sunshine”, “what’s up girl”, “hey baby” friends
don’t really care about the person behind the catcall.
To you, we are girls of no importance and no consequence.
You forget about us a minute after you’ve
watched our asses hurry away from you.

For you, we are nameless.
But does that give you the right
to call us names that our parents didn’t give us,
yell at us on the street,
touch us,
make us feel uncomfortable just for being women?

Me and the other what’s-up-girls would probably say no.
But the next time you see us

maybe you should ask.

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