Picking up toilet paper

Emily Perdue | contributing officer

A worried look

A hurried pace

Head on a swivel

An owl, hunted.

Glance down the alley

–Don’t look for too long–

Look in front, look behind

Stay alert or you’re next.

In one pocket, my phone

Ready to dial

The other, my knife

Clutching too tight.

It’s just three blocks, only three!

I’ll be fine, I reason

Slow steps from afar have my mind on edge

Larger steps, swivel-swivel-clutch.

“One bag or two?”

Think first, then decide

One bag, please

I need my hands free to fight.

Thump thump, thump thump

Can these strangers hear my heartbeat?

A broken street lamp

Walking in darkness.

I heard it happened down the street

I think it happened in the dark

I don’t actually know the details

I could be next.

Avoid eye contact

But still be aware

Be prepared, be prepared

Hurry up, don’t look back!

It often happens down the street

It often happens in the dark

Do the details even matter?

It could be happening right now.

Back in the light

Safe and sound, I’m alright

All this panic…

For a pack of toilet paper?

— Emily P., Alive and wellOkay


Check out more from our April 2016 issue!

Posted in Art.