I Was Only 16

By Margo Knox, 73. Gold Coast, QLD

It wasn’t an innocent gesture
The piercing whistle came from one
While the others nodded 

The scaffolding blocked the footpath
A thankful roundabout walk of younger years
A safety switch from the predation of young men
Who did not see privilege in their action
But a right to covert the bodies of others
For their momentary pleasure

Every whistle penetrated my body.
Maybe it was a compliment
as some said 
from a Mind of denial 
that sees no outcome.

Just a momentary voicing 
a primal force
Of capture and ownership

My body would tighten
First to my belly 
Wrapping around my genitals
Up to my neck, shoulders and lastly 

My Anger
My confusion
My shame

What a dangerous world 
Is a walk to town
I was only 16.

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Margaret McCaffrey
11 months ago

I wonder if things have improved a little in this regard.