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Walking home [content warning] (2 Viewers)

badpoet

Member
Walking home
She didn’t want to be here
Just a wrong turn
Now it was dark
And she still had to walk home

She wouldn’t, couldn’t relax
Not until she was away from here

Where anything could happen
Her keys were clenched in one hand
Jagged metal ready to jab an attacker
The other, holding her phone
Thumb hovering
Ready to dial
9-1-1

Pepper spray in her purse
If it came to that
Memories from many self defence courses
like a broken record
Ready to repeat the overpracticed motions

Who knew what could happen
As she walked home

Headlines on the news daily
That could be her
Another victim

Assaulted
Kidnapped
Raped
Killed

Palms clammy
She entered her apartment
The resounding click brought relief
As she finally bolted the door

Then it hit her
The absurdity of it all
A choked laugh escaped
Not because it was funny
But what else could she do?

Why did she have to do so much
To protect herself
Doing something so mundane
From something that shouldn’t be a threat

 
Last edited by a moderator:

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
I can relate to this poem and the feelings I experienced when I used to work shifts and finished late at night or early hours of the morning. We never had mobile phones then so fear was amplified. But it didn't end when I got home ... I searched the rooms.
 

Phil Istine

WF Veterans
Walking home
She didn’t want to be here
Just a wrong turn
Now it was dark
And she still had to walk home

She wouldn’t, couldn’t relax
Not until she was away from here

Where anything could happen
Her keys were clenched in one hand
Jagged metal ready to jab an attacker
The other, holding her phone
Thumb hovering
Ready to dial
9-1-1

Pepper spray in her purse
If it came to that
Memories from many self defence courses
like a broken record
Ready to repeat the overpracticed motions

Who knew what could happen
As she walked home

Headlines on the news daily
That could be her
Another victim

Assaulted
Kidnapped
Raped
Killed

Palms clammy
She entered her apartment
The resounding click brought relief
As she finally bolted the door

Then it hit her
The absurdity of it all
A choked laugh escaped
Not because it was funny
But what else could she do?

Why did she have to do so much
To protect herself
Doing something so mundane
From something that shouldn’t be a threat


The poem is a current and emotive subject in the UK at the moment due to the kidnap and murder of a woman in south London in recent days. It doesn't help that the alleged perpetrator was a serving police officer.

To the poem: it is a strong poem, but I feel it could be strengthened further by reducing the telling and allowing the reader's imagination to do more of the work.
For example:
"She wouldn’t, couldn’t relax" Maybe something about "furtive glances" or some other word could be substituted in order for the reader to empathise, and so feel some of her discomfort.

"
Jagged metal ready to jab an attacker" Maybe "Jagged metal at the ready" might work too, as it lets the reader do some of the work and become invested in the feelings.
I'm wondering if that stanza could end on "thumb hovering" as it is already well implied that the emergency services might be wanted, so maybe cut the "

Ready to dial
9-1-1"
Apart from that, omitting that part makes it more universal as 9-1-1 isn't the emergency number for many countries.
This is highly emotive work and if you draw the reader in more, you can help them feel it. Rather than telling them about a woman who is scared you can scare them and help them feel it by tightening up some of the wording.
Thanks for sharing. It's a decent read.




 

ritudimrinautiyal

Senior Member
Walking home
She didn’t want to be here
Just a wrong turn
Now it was dark
And she still had to walk home

She wouldn’t, couldn’t relax
Not until she was away from here

Where anything could happen
Her keys were clenched in one hand
Jagged metal ready to jab an attacker
The other, holding her phone
Thumb hovering
Ready to dial
9-1-1

Pepper spray in her purse
If it came to that
Memories from many self defence courses
like a broken record
Ready to repeat the overpracticed motions

Who knew what could happen
As she walked home

Headlines on the news daily
That could be her
Another victim

Assaulted
Kidnapped
Raped
Killed

Palms clammy
She entered her apartment
The resounding click brought relief
As she finally bolted the door

Then it hit her
The absurdity of it all
A choked laugh escaped
Not because it was funny
But what else could she do?

Why did she have to do so much
To protect herself
Doing something so mundane
From something that shouldn’t be a threat

It was the exact feeling I went through, a lonely lane half kilometers away from my destination, grabbing my handbag tighter, keeping mobile in speed dial mode....

Thanks

Ritu

Thanks
 
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