Just in Case

August 20, 2014
By

By Megan Koopman

 

When you become a woman

and your breasts start to show

in a way that makes vice principals shake

and neighborhood boys stare.

You begin to know three words so perfectly

they string together like a banner from eyelash to eyelash.

 

Just in case

 

You see them while you pay $12.99

for that hard pink plastic tube

of pepper spray.

 

While your car keys

form hard calluses

between the soft skin

that webs your middle

and pointer finger.

 

While you walk

in groups of three or four

after the sun sets

and the moonlight forgets to

warn you of the shadows.

 

A boy put his finger on the trigger

because he thought you were in debt.

Well, you’ve got this shiny pink tube

and this cab fare

to prove that you had insurance.

 

But he has lives

and you have a self defense class

on Thursdays.

He has blood

and you get pulled to the side

for a skirt too high

or a top too low.

 

They say, “slut.”

You say, “just in case.”

 

They say, “whore.”

You say, “just in case.”

 

They say, “she was asking for it.”

You say, “just in case.”

 

**********************************

Koopman, bio photoMegan Koopman studies psychology and creative writing at the University of Michigan. She wishes to live her life writing poetry as a way to remedy the solitude of female adolescence, and to be surrounded by dogs at all times.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to Just in Case

  1. Jenna Lee on August 20, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    I just wanted to tell you that I really really loved this. It perfectly describes the way women live and consider these “just in case” precautions as normal behavior. This norm is heartbreaking.

Follow The Feminist Wire

Arts & Culture

  • Fiction Feature: “Artist Statement” (A Short Story) imgres-2

    by Christine Stoddard   I pluck my hair from the root because my scalp can make the sacrifice. Because I want to create from my own body. Because my children are hungry. Open the studio. There is no paint in the house. Open the fridge. There is no milk in [...]

  • Music Feature: Las Krudas Cubensi – “Mi Cuerpo es Mio” [VIDEO] corazon-200x300

      Las Krudas Cubensi are Cuban Hip Hop MCs, Independent Musicians, Poets, Theater Performers representing Womyn, Immigrants, Queer and People of Color Action as a Central Part of World Change. They choose  art as a weapon to fight against oppression, for justice, for balance, for our rights, to celebrate life. Kruda in Cuba means raw, unprocessed, unrefined, [...]

  • Poem Suite: Shards Rainbow Shards

    In our Poem Suites, we bring together the voices of emerging and established poets exploring a common theme. In today’s Poem Suite, two poets explore fracturing, fragmentation and “shards” from feminist perspectives. . Making Mosaics By Leah Ware Gluing the pieces together, One by one, the mirrors go down Along [...]