Breaking News: In Rhyme
It has rang through the hallowed halls of every home in America these past couple weeks, bringing forth newfound feelings of dread, disgust, and apprehension. And unfortunately, it is not an unfamiliar tale.
A man being delivered a throne of power, a man trusted with the well-being and objective evaluation of our country, only to uncover the monster that lays beneath. Brett Kavanaugh is not a novel story. In fact, it is the product of America’s history of shaming, discouraging, and ridiculing victims who have their own stories to tell that caused Jeff Flake to almost exonerate the man in question. It is the product of years of victim blaming and harvesting shame in these warriors that fiercely bring forth memories that have been “seared into my memory and haunted me,” in Ford’s own words.
This is a despicable pattern. This is a pattern that cannot, and will not, continue. We must believe. And we must honor. One in three.
The recency of this 2014 poem shows how we have only begun to shatter the taboo surrounding sexual assault. Yrsa Daley Ward’s poem called “bone” highlights the ways society tries to instill doubt in those that do speak up, through the various examples of men’s manipulation the morning after (“To Three who pays for your breakfast/and a cab home/and your mother’s rent”). The sick veil of abusive power suffocating victims is perceived in these men’s nonchalant recollection of the previous night’s events.
Even though Christine Ford is choking on the witness stand. And the same man who has been accused of stripping rights away from multiple women almost got the opportunity to decide whether other monsters deserve theirs’.
by Yrsa Daley-Ward
who says, “Don’t cry.
You’ll like it after a while.”
and Two who tells you thank-you
after the fact and can’t look at your face.
To Three who pays for your breakfast
and a cab home
and your mother’s rent.
“But you felt so good
I didn’t know how to stop.”
To Five who says giving your body
but something you do very well.
Who smells of tobacco
and says “Come on, I can feel that
you love this.”
To those who feel bad in the morning yes,
some feel bad in the morning
and sometimes they tell you
you want it
and sometimes you think that you do.
Thank heavens you’re resetting
How else do you sew up the tears?
How else can the body survive?
Sam Proctor | ’19