I was debating whether or not to make this a political story, but these past few days have made me realize that these kinds of scenarios are being politicized whether we want them to or not. The Kavanaugh hearings were not the first time Republicans have turned a man into a victim while ignoring the actual victim, but this was the first time where people from all generations realized that something was wrong.
My goal was for this to be a poem, but I didn’t want to hold back or limit my words. I’m a prose writer by nature. I don’t know if I want to call this prose or a prose poem. I’d like to say this is fiction, but I’m sure there are a million other stories just like this.
Lindsey Graham’s massive temper tantrum and complete lack of empathy for the sexual assault victim that stopped him in the hallway during a recess to tell him she was a victim as well makes me wonder if he would be able to look his hypothetical daughter in the eyes and explain why her safety comes second to the good of the Conservative party.
Normally, I hope you’ll enjoy this, but in this case, I hope you don’t. I hope it’s too much. I hope you feel something after, and I hope that feeling is anger. If you want this to end, you have to call your senators and remind them November is coming, and we’re all waiting.
If She Was Your Daughter
If your daughter was one of the unlucky, brought into this world not by choice — even if you mean well for her, even if she’s going to school, and all you wanted to do was take her to the local park so both of you could get a break before starting in on homework — and is taken against her will, stuffed into a van while you’re looking down or talking to one of the neighbors, mouth covered so you never hear her scream, how would you react?
She’s only ten years old, but she knows enough to know her life is over — literally; she’s sat on the couch with you multiple times as you binge-watched SVU for who knows how long; she’s aware of death and maybe she’s thought about it before; she’s thinking over everything you’ve told her about not making herself a target; she’s also heard you talk to your wife — her mother — about voting conservative; she’s heard you rant about Hillary, but she chooses her mouth shut, knowing one comment in her favor is enough to set you off, that there’s never a real conversation; she’s wondering why you never told her what to do when, in fact, she’s actually abducted.
What would you tell her to do if she’s the one tied up in the van, in the back, taking it from the back, fighting the pain and suffering and shame, clenching her teeth so hard they, like the rest of her, crumble into a million pieces? What would your first question be — if she makes it out alive, if she defies the odds, meaning she’s not dumped on the side of the road with a bullet in her back, or left for dead in the middle of the woods or trafficked to other cities all around the country: Are you okay? or, What were you wearing?
This is the last call for submissions for the Winter Issue of Come and Go Literary. If you have a poem or story you’d like to share that inspires change or calls things out for what they are, see my submission guidelines for more details. Deadline is 9/30.