Weekly poem on Trump Presidency




I run on the path at the same time each day
When there are others on the path so I’m not alone
Because a woman shouldn’t run alone,
Not without mace or a knife
Or a dog trained to kill.
The varieties of violence are endless
Like the guy who sits on a bench, saying, “Come on, honey,
Pick up the pace!” Or, “Ya wanna win this race?”
Or, “Good girl!”
I’ve heard it all from men licking their lips,
From men standing in my way
Offering their demands and drivel.
I don’t want to swagger over to the man,
To a city of men, a country of men
And push them down
And slice my knife through their pants
And lift up their dicks with my blade
And say, “Not bad!”
I don’t want revenge or to hate
Like I hated the men
Who tried to rape me—the man at the party
And the man in the hills—
The too many men who want me to believe
I’m as worthless as the body they could hurt.
When this man on the bench whistles
And claps like I’m his personal showgirl,
I keep running on my muscled legs,
My will forged in a crucible
To a very fine point, honed by the women
Before me, and the women after,
Sharper and sharper,
Who know exactly what they want,
Who grow stronger and stronger at a rapid pace,
Who will slit these men from crotch to sternum.


Susan Browne is the author of Buddha’s Dogs (Four Way Books) and Zephyr (Steel Toe Books). Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The Sun, Subtropics, The Southern Review, American Life in Poetry and 180 More, Extraordinary Poems for Every Day. She teaches at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California. www.susanbrownepoems.com