It wasn’t a thing we knew how to see,
how to name,
when I was young.
Little boys in the shower with the coach,
and everyone looks away.
But like mold in the pantry closet,
this too will die when exposed to light.
In my childhood, predators were everywhere.
“Come sit on my lap,” beckoned the band director.
“By the way, what color are your panties?”
was the surprise conclusion
of a long interrogation in Science.
But this too will die when exposed to light.
Our walk home from school, a bunch of little girls,
seven years old,
a time of skips and giggles, fancy free,
swishing our skirts and kicking leaves.
And how did this happy, daily walk
turn icy, fraught with terror,
dangers unnamed and unknown,
and way beyond our ken?
For days and days, seeming like forever,
a gauntlet of men, following us,
beckoning from parked cars,
standing like Colossus and flashing us
from ‘way atop our footbridge,
our only passage home.
Who talked about this?
Who had the words?
SHINE A LIGHT! SHINE A LIGHT!
Don’t look away.
November 17, 2011
Learn about the work of "Darkness to Light: End Child Sexual Abuse."
Read a moving and courageous letter of support to the Penn State victims from Tyler Perry.