Afternoon Walk

Hand with red crossed circle. Caption reads: "Whatever lead you to decide to grab a boob real quick?"

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Afternoon Walk poem by Iris Carden

You saw me limping down the path, leaning on my walking stick.
Whatever lead you to decide to grab a boob real quick?

Was it excess weight, greying hair or disability
or just being a woman, that made you target me?

Perhaps it took you by surprise when I let out that scream,
and raised the stick to hit you, 'cause I'm tougher than I seem.

I guess it was good luck for me, that you ran off down the path.
I could have been arrested if it turned to a bloodbath.

Everyone has a story you don't know unless you're told.
This sick middle-aged woman, wasn't always sick or old.

Lupus damaged my body; wrecked it, in fact, in parts,
but part of me remembers when I was good at martial arts.

Somewhere in my mind I hear a long-past coach's voice:
Don't stop to think, just act. There's no time for a choice.

And on this day I acted without stopping for a thought.
And, startled, you just ran away, exactly as you ought.

Here's a message to the creeps who think women are just prey:
some of us are angry now, and you won't have your way.
A collection of taekwando medals. Caption reads: "I was good at martial arts.

This happened on Sunday afternoon while I was walking the dog, in daylight, on a fairly well-used path, beside a busy road. I had a walking stick in one hand and a dog lead in the other.

Usually, when I see other people on the path, we nod or say “good afternoon” in passing, so I wasn’t expecting another person on the path to present any kind of danger.

The whole thing took less than a minute, and I don’t think I actually consciously registered what was happening until my attacker was running away.

What did my faithful canine friend do during this incident? The useless lump just stood there, tongue out, doofy grin on her face. To be fair to her though, it was probably the cat’s turn to use their single shared brain cell.

I didn’t actually hit him. I automatically raised my hands into a block. I just happened to have a metal walking stick in my dominant hand.

While you’re here…

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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.


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