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I walk and walk, without talking to anyone,
I walk here and there, to avoid their stares,
their scowls, their “poor lady” pity -
Do they know I used to be pretty?
Now I’m just a dirty nothing, dirty whore,
I walk till I can’t walk anymore.
I have no place to be, no place to go.
I sit for a moment when I find a spot,
a park bench, a doorway,
the outer corner of a parking lot
But someone always comes around
and looks at me with that disdainful frown,
I walk. I walk so I won’t get caught
I walk away looking down at the ground.
I feel so ashamed. There’s nowhere I can hide.
I try, though, I try. I stand in long lines
to find a decent place to sleep for the night,
but decent places are hard to find.
I’d rather lie in the dirt at the downtown park
than fear the rats that nibble in the dark
in bug-infested rooms with urine-stained mattresses.
I eat my food real fast, then hurry on my way,
before some men come around
and try to pressure me to stay.
I live in fear for my life every night,
It’s like a fist that hovers over me, constantly,
Like the fist he used on me that day,
my body beaten; the bruises have faded away.
I walk. I walk, to get away from the pain.
I sleep in a doorway, in an alley down the street.
I’ve nothing but these filthy clothes,
and the shoes on my feet,
and I’m ok with being dirty, let me stink,
I hope I stink!
Maybe it will keep the stinking men away from me,
so I can try to get some sleep, rest my aching feet.
And then, when daylight comes again,
in the sunshine or the rain
I’ll walk and walk ...
to get away from the pain.
Inspired by Tom's "Being Homeless" contest
Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and their children. (nedv.org)
According to VAWnet.org, “Homeless women … are particularly vulnerable to multiple forms of victimization including forced, coerced, or manipulated sexual activity.”
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