The Separation

How could I leave her there

I saw the bruises on her neck

and the underside of her chin

As soon as I landed

& when I departed

I held her hair back

As she vomited shaking

& clung to me bawling

As her monster jeered

“You act like your whole family is dying

She’s just going back to America

Now stop it.”

What could I do?

She begged me not to hurt him

& I offered up a thousand solutions

Even a citizenship marriage

But she was too sick to see clearly

Now she writes to me:

I’m so happy and so proud

You got out of your abusive relationship

I’m just so sorry I couldn’t do it

Then she doesn’t write anything


by Georgia Park

When you are a woman in the country by Melita White

When you are a woman in the country
You should be careful to not look like a woman
You should not wear pink
That colour of women
When you go to collect your mail
From the letterbox on the main road
As the trucks whizz by at 100km per hour
And the men leer
Out of open windows
Sometimes waving, sometimes just looking
You’d better hope your titties don’t poke out
From beneath your top either
And give the game away
It’s best to wear drab baggy clothes
A hat
Dark glasses
And keep your head down
Hoist your shoulders up round your neck
And swagger a bit
You might fool them that way
And when you duck down that country lane
On foot, crying when it’s raining
Because you had a fight with your boyfriend
Whatever you do
Don’t shake the hand of the man in the pick-up truck
Oh sure, smile sweetly and answer his questions
When he stops to ask what you’re doing walking out here
In the middle of nowhere
But do not take his hand when he offers it
It is dirty with grease and dark like his soul and you know it
And when he drives away finally
After scaring you and deciding you are too much trouble (phew!)
You should quickly climb the fence and walk, no, run across the field
The muddy muddy field
Because you’re so much safer there
Even if your new shoes will be ruined
And soaked and caked with mud
Country men do not pretend as much as city men do
They let their lust show on their faces, unfiltered
And in their bodies
They readily stare as if they never got the memo
That memo the city men got years ago
Or, at least some of them did,
That it’s rude, and maybe even threatening
To stare at a woman
So at night when you’re getting undressed
Make sure the curtains are closed
So that the man with the binoculars across the fields
Can’t play Peeping Tom with you
And make sure the lights are out
So that your shapely silhouette doesn’t broadcast itself
On the thin yellow curtains
It might just be considered an invitation

Melita White is founder and writer of the blog Feminist Confessional, a space that features feminist poetry, essays and personal pieces in a confessional style, with a focus on the MeToo movement. She is a composer and musician and loves making all kinds of things.