Safety at Age Eleven
Wilda W. Morris
Grandmother would have kept me
safe had she known her beloved nephew
visiting from Kansas would trap me
on the basement stair and touch me
in the wrong places. I kept her safe
from heartbreak by not telling.
And Mother would have kept me safe
had she suspected. She’d warned me
about strangers, told me where to kick
if I needed to get away, but she was at work
and had too many worries already
so I kept her safe, too.
I didn’t go to the basement again
until he was back on the west-bound train.
And until now, I never told anyone.
We Will Not Be Silenced: The Lived Experience of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Told Powerfully Through Poetry, Prose, Essay, and Art is the brainchild of Kindra M. Austin, Candice Louisa Daquin, Rachel Finch, and Christine E. Ray. The four indie writers and survivors felt compelled to organize a response after wide-spread, highly publicized cases of rape, sexual harassment, and misconduct. They chose to advocate, educate, and resist through art. The editors opened submissions for just two weeks to women and men around the world. The response from writers and artists was overwhelming: the final anthology includes 166 pieces of writing and art from 95 contributors around the globe.