1. Missoula Rape Poem

    There is no difference between being raped
    and being pushed down a flight of cement steps
    except that the wounds also bleed inside.

    There is no difference between being raped
    and being run over by a truck
    except that afterwards men ask you if you
    enjoyed it.

    There is no difference between being raped
    and losing a hand in a mowing machine
    except the doctors don’t want to get involved,
    the police wear a knowing smirk,
    and in small towns you become a veteran whore.

    There is no difference between being raped
    and being bitten by a rattlesnake
    except that people ask if your skirt was short
    and why you were out anyway.

    There is no difference between being raped
    and going head first through a windshield
    except that afterwards you are not afraid of cars
    but of half the human race.

    Fear of rape is a cold wind blowing all of the time
    on a woman’s hunched back
    Never to stroll alone a sand road
    through pine woods;
    Never to climb a trail across a bald
    without that aluminum in the mouth
    when I see a man climbing towards me.

    Never to open the door to a knock
    without that razor just grazing the throat.
    The fear of the dark side of the hedges,
    the back seat of the car,
    the empty house rattling keys like a snake’s warning.
    The fear of the smiling man
    in whose pocket is a knife.
    The fear of the serious man
    in whose fist is locked hatred.

    By Marge Piercy
    Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network
    The free and confidential National Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

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