The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood

Lesléa Newman – #MeToo

0

LESLÉA NEWMAN

 

#MeToo

piano teacher sitting beside me on the bench sliding his hand beneath my behind;
dentist reclining my chair all the way back and resting his tools on my chest;
friend of my father’s pulling me onto his lap and promising to make me a star;
co-worker of my father’s calling the house when he knew my parents were at a mutual
friend’s wedding to tell me dirty jokes over the phone;
mail carrier walking behind me calling, “I wish that swing was in my back yard;”
man driving by in blue car yelling, “Nice tits;”
man driving by in white car yelling, “Hey, shine those headlights over here;”
man on subway rubbing up against me;
man on subway showing me his dick;
man on subway doing a manspread and pressing his thigh against mine;
man in mostly empty movie theatre sitting next to me, then changing his seat when I
changed my seat five times until I finally left;
man standing next to his parked truck with his dick in his hand calling to me,
“Wanna play with it, baby?”
man in toy store touching himself while holding Betsey Wetsy and smiling at me;
man in elevator extending his business card saying, “You’re very beautiful. Give me
a call;”
mentor at poetry retreat saying, “Forget your poetry. Let’s talk about your beautiful
eyes;”
man sitting beside me on airplane calling me a bitch because I declined the drink he
offered to buy me;
man sitting beside me on airplane calling me a bitch because after ten minutes of
small talk I said I had work to do and needed quiet;
man at encounter group introductory meeting squeezing my breasts during a trust
exercise when I was blindfolded then bragging about it afterwards;
man riding by on bike grabbing my breasts and then pedaling away;
man leaving love notes in my mailbox telling me we were meant to be together and
throwing pebbles at my window at 3:00 a.m.;
cop responding to my call saying, “What’s the matter? He only wants to get to know
you;”
man walking by me at 2:00 in the afternoon saying, “Wanna fuck?”
boss making me try on all the clothes in the boutique where I worked and demanding
that I stand still while he adjusted them on my body;
customer staring at my breasts for more than ten minutes without saying a word
knowing I was alone in the store and couldn’t leave my cash register;
housemate’s boyfriend crawling into bed with me after housemate left for work;
gay man telling me, “If I was straight, I would fuck you;”
poetry teacher saying, “Oh, you’re a feminist? I know how to fix that;”
I will long remember each and every one of you
as surely as each and every one of you has long forgotten me

 

 


Lesléa Newman is the author of 70 books for readers of all ages including the poetry collection, I Carry My Mother, the short story collection, A Letter To Harvey Milk, the novel-in-verse October Mourning: A Song For Matthew Shepard, and the children’s classic Heather Has Two Mommies. Her literary awards include poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. From 2008 – 2010 she served as the poet laureate of Northampton, MA. Currently she teaches at Spalding University’s low-residency MFA in Writing program. Her newest poetry collection, Lovely, will be published by Headmistress press in January 2018.

Share.

Comments are closed.