A Brief Guide To Walking Home Alone. While Female. And Black. And in the Hood.

Don’t smile

for some reason smiling is a sin that tempts the devil inside most people to cross that line

between polite and creepy

Don’t fear the boys who follow you

like dogs sniffing at the scent of your heels pressing the pavement

running will only encourage those emboldened by the cover of night

Never slouch or try to disappear into yourself

this will only make them want you more

Hold your chin parallel to the ground

more often than not they just want the queen they see gliding by to soften

to cuddle their crusted over sense of rage and rejection

to hold not knowing how so they reach out and grab

You remind them of ma and grandma pounding yam in the kitchen before dinner

of Sunday school mornings and hide-and-go-freak evenings

of their first dirty magazine

and the embarrassment of not knowing how to kiss because no one tells them what they’re expected to know

Don’t offend when skulked

Watch your shadow in a reflection

it will meet a person too close

before your eyes do

Don’t back down when challenged

and balance your bags on both shoulders

Don’t let that comment burrow inside

I know you’re tired

but home is waiting just there

and that place

you should keep safe…

and defend

by any means


One comment

  1. Lia · September 3, 2015

    Oh yes!!!

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