Today’s prompt called for a “(blank) if (blank)” poem. After reading the news today, I was pissed. And sad. You know, pretty much the same way most people have felt for the last year. The way many women have felt for much longer than that. So my “(blank) if (blank)” poem went here:
What if we believed the first one to speak up? To use her voice, even when it’s hard. Even when it hurts. Even when it might cost her everything. Even if it might cost us something. What if we didn’t have to wait years for the truth to ooze out from the festering boil that no one wants to see or mention? What if my sister hadn’t been with me, that time on the London tube, when the man across from us reached into his pants, and I sat in suspended animation? We didn’t talk about it, after she grabbed my hand and pulled me up, away. After we rushed off at the next stop. She swore and I warbled some panicky giggle — one I still don’t fully understand — but then we were silent. Walking away. Walking to get tea. Walking to normal. What if it was no longer normal? I remember in geometry, the if A then B theorem. Or maybe it was X if and only if Y. If and only if why. Why does proof have to take so long and hurt so much?