Tuesday, February 16, 2016

This Isn't About Me

Today I was a witness to domestic violence
On my college campus
As I trudged up the hill to get a quick bite
After a tough class and before my next

When suddenly there was a shout and a bang, and a screech of tires
I tried to see into the car but the sun was in my eyes
And the cold weather had everyone buttoned up tight
In sweaters and jackets and hats                                                                            
I couldn't get a look at the guy
I did see the grim look of fear and embarrassment
In the eyes of the girl
As she bravely set her jaw and stood her ground under his threatening
His body actually arced over top of hers in the driver’s seat
As if he intended to climb right out the window over top of her
His clenched fist under her chin

Just as suddenly he jumped out of the passenger door
The door on my side 
As I stood and watched I tried to make eye contact with her
I could see her pretty brown hair
Her eyes were already brimming with the tears
She would try but would not be able to hold them back
Even as she drove away
Safe for now
She averted her gaze from me and I knew why

I thought to try again to see the guy
He was already pretty far away
I wanted to follow him, chase him down
I wanted to look him in his eyes and let him know that
I - will- take- him – on

But he was already halfway up the hill
I knew better and now they both were gone
I never even got a look at his face

All that was left was me
Standing in the cold sunshine
Of a now darkened day
Shaking in rage and helplessness
In hopelessness
Wishing I could chase down that girl
Wishing I could chase down that guy
Knowing I couldn't do either one

As I finally turned to walk to the student center
A tear slipped down my cheek
In frustration and mourning
The sidewalk filled with students again
Walking toward me and past
And as I looked into each one’s eyes
I saw no glimmer of recognition
Of what had taken place here today
And my heart broke

But this is not about me

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