Our Walk Home

I wrote this poem walking home from work one night after hearing about the differences in measures that men and women use to keep themselves safe at night. 


200. 
200 metres until I reach the place I call my own,
Home.
Guardian gum stands tall out front, my mark for exhalation. 
But before I reassure I count. 
3. 2. 1. 
Be assertive, be aware, be prepared. 
3,
3 minutes of tiptoeing and breath holding,
Pushing shoulders back, head held high confident stride
Look left right forward behind
Pushing shoulders back, head held high confident stride
Look left right forward behind before every turn
2,
2 street lamps on timers. 
Cars swinging slowly round corners,
Does in headlights afraid to be the next Jane Doe;
lying cold in a ditch, eyes wide to the moon
1. 
1 woman in fear told, 
Don’t walk alone at night. 
3. 2. 1. 
Be assertive, be aware, be prepared. 
But its 5:30 in winter,
Already the sky shrouded in darkness
and I’m just walking home from work. 
The cool metal of my keys pressed hard against my 
White, white knuckles
Location shared, whistle prepared
3. 2. 1. 
3
3 recommendations on keeping yourself safe at night.
3
3 more things to worry about that you shouldn’t have to. 
2
2 times I have consoled. 
2
2 times where I have felt powerless and truly felt hate. 
1
1 problem.
1
1 problem that starts and ends with one. 
1
1 demon in the dark that should know better. 
200. 
200 metres away from home
But right now it feels like 200 million,
That’s the reality of where we are. 
We walk in fear and can’t come forward
Because who would believe us?
What evidence is left?
To those who think that this is okay, 
Give it a fucking rest. 

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