We’re all just microscopic ants, really
crawling all over the vast earthy expanse
Someone falls off the face of the earth
Every day, every second; Who knows, who cares
other than a shovelful of other ants…
Does anyone care what I think? Read what I write?
Will anyone notice me, if I step out as just me?
Maybe not. Maybe people see right through me.
Unless, unless… I defy the current
The tidal wave that seeps through generations.
So how do I defy? Flow against the current.
Yesterday I got up and roamed the streets
Wearing all of my clothes, all at once,
and I didn’t care for people’s frowns and stares.
What’s the point, you ask? I was noticed.
A desperate plea for attention,
To send a message with a specific intention.
To some in my part of the world
who justify rape, on the kind of clothes worn
Say the woman ‘asks’ for such lecherous attention:
Was I not noticed enough? Jeered, laughed at?
But I was seen as a freak, and those women as opportunity.
Difference lies in perception.
The women who wanted to be heard,
and the pleas heard, of a woman silenced.
This poem written for Poetics at Dverse, where the prompts are twelve portraits on ritual and costume by Phyllis Galembo. I must admit I went in a different direction, but I was led by the photo to this rather sinister topic.