Bright World - A poem about a world without sexual assault

Recently Executive Director Ginny Waller challenged our staff and volunteers to envision a world without sexual assault.  Check back to see our work. 

This poem is by Volunteer Alexis Stratton.  Alexis Stratton has been a volunteer for STSM since fall 2009, working for the Speaker's Bureau and assisting in Development/Grant-Writing.  She is a native of Illinois but has spent her life in many homes, from the Carolinas to South Korea.  Currently, she is studying for her MFA in Creative Writing at USC.

Bright World
By Alexis Stratton
Oh, to no fear
that—anything but
that—the word, the force,
the pain. I can take
mugging, I can take
a break-in, but to not
be afraid of that—
each day, pulling myself up tight,
shoulders back, spine straight,
“Look confident,” they say and
Good thing I have short hair I think,
remembering warnings about how easy
it is to grab a ponytail, pull down, and—
I wouldn't have to wonder Would I bite it off
if he shoved it in my face? or What if I
get to know this guy, and then he—or
You can never know. They say we should fear
those we know more than strangers, but in this
bright world, I wouldn't
have to. And I wouldn't worry
for my children—no, anything but—
and I wouldn't think, Well, how do I
tell him—find words—say, “This
is what happened—” because that cloud
of fear, of darkness, it would be
gone. Oh, bright world, beautiful,
bright world—please come fast,
and soon.