In honor of National Poetry Writing Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I offer this from the soul of a survivor.
THAT GIRL is not a flying nun
With habit flying so,
THAT GIRL is a soldier, not too scared to go
THAT GIRL is a daughter, shot, left naked and alone to die
THAT GIRL is a wife, carjacked at night
THAT GIRL is a mother, bound and tied
THAT GIRL is a grandmother, hear her cries
THAT GIRL is a student who didn’t lie
THAT GIRL is a human, just riding a bus
THAT GIRL, that girl – she’s one of us
THAT GIRL in the burqa
THAT GIRL on the street
THAT GIRL in the short skirt, not being discreet
THAT GIRL in the bar, dancing just so
THAT GIRL in the video, dragged and drugged – an unwitting part of the show
THAT GIRL was raped
Did anyone know?
Did anyone care or did they just say “She deserved it, she flashed skin today.”
Did anyone tell her it wasn’t her fault?
When she flinches and angers
Do you call her a slut?
THAT GIRL needs love and she needs you to care
See her heart and her body, they were laid bare
Men claim we’re sexist for that which we share
It’s not MY fault, why should I care?
Caring does not require guilt on your part
It requires a conscience and it requires a heart
It requires saying “Not on my watch!”
It requires asking “Why do people rape?”
Not “She must have looked hot.”
See, that girl is us and we are she
The daughters, sisters, aunts, mothers, wives and grandmothers
Life depends upon these
Duty calls, the bells peal loud
Over the roar of the venomous crowd
Not upon THAT GIRL nor ANY GIRL
Shall rape be allowed. © Paulissa Kipp