Predator by Melita White

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A smile that’s too large
A look in the eye
Too intense, unblinking
The predator spots his prey
You
A shifty glance sideways
Evasive, furtive
A question ignored
Or answered too late
That too-soon bonding
With sickly sweet compliments
So many superlatives
And nothing adds up
None of his story
Avoidance, so much
His responses don’t fit
You know it, you do
Now trust it, trust you
And if you’re not sure
Just wait, you’ll see
Something will happen
A sign, an event
This thing will make sense
Of all of your doubts
And heed it you must
For it’s the sign you were right all along
And this is the lesson
It is the great learning
The one that you weren’t taught when young
Leaving you open and prey to all
But especially open to those who profess
To like you the most, to like you the best
And offer the loveliest love of your life
You’re so hungry for love and esteem from without
That you’re open to strife
For you don’t know the feeling of love from within
Or even the sense of a self or desire
You’re lost and need good people to teach you
And bolster your spirit
And he’s not it
No
He’s not even close
And you know that he’s not
As does he, but by golly you look so tasty and he wants to gobble you up, doesn’t he?

But you’re safe now for you know it’s ok both to feel and to say:

No

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. https://feministconfessional.wordpress.com

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. https://feministconfessional.wordpress.com