The Thing With Feathers.

I can’t imagine fear and cruelty.

I can’t imagine fearing to go into a restroom because I’m different from everybody else.

I can’t imagine being abused, holding on because the rare good times somehow outweigh the horrible bad.

I can’t imagine being raped just because I was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

I can’t imagine the fear of losing my child, wondering where they went, if they suffered.

There is so much I can’t imagine. The fear that drives us to tread carefully among others. And yet, I suffer too.

I say I don’t know fear, but I remember the time I had a night class and the campus was dark and lonely and I eyed the men who were doing construction because I was afraid of the possibilities. I remember going to the movies at the outdoor mall one evening and I was parked in a different part of the mall and no one offered to drive me to the car and I had to walk alone. Every person I passed was someone who could potentially harm me.

I shouldn’t have to feel fear. I shouldn’t question another person’s motives.

But I do. We all do. Whether it’s me as a woman, or someone who looks different from the majority.

Yet there is hope. I see hope in the men and women who stand together to help each other out. I see support, love, and protection. I see how those people make each other feel safe in a world that is often unsafe.

I see this and I feel hopeful of our future.


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