Preyed upon Victim

Poet's Notes

An open letter written by a  young college aged woman reflecting upon her middle and high school years when she was victim of relentless bullying.  The fear and hurt she carries dissipates with anguish upon hearing news of her bully’s life and ultimate fate. 

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I’m sure you don’t remember me
Yet forever branded upon my memory is your evil spree
I was far from your only victim
You and your pack bullying ever so gruesome 

You first noticed me in the 7th grade
Only late in high school did your interest fade

I was vulnerable
The sight of you made me fearful
I was admittedly awkward
Emotionally, you sent me needlessly backward

I only wanted a chance to grow
To let my emotions openly flow
I gave no thought to living amongst a foe

I was overweight, too smart for my own good
I had few friends, none from my hood
Even few in band with whom I played
Each confrontation with you, my mind further decayed

I played the flute
It was my only voice, the other having become mute

My best friend looked like me, dressed like me
She was smart like me
You called us gay when we were straight
Bullying with so much hate

You bark ‘shut up’ whenever I begin to speak
Treating me as if a freak
Your text messages make me sob
Unraveling inside, I become increasingly macabre

You cause me to feel isolated, alone
Depressed I lie in my bed, prone
Feeling hopeless, is this my destiny
My life – so empty, I stare blankly 

I think about cutting 
As my emotions are convulsing

I didn’t deserve the anger cast upon me
What was wrong with me
Why did you choose me
Will I ever be set free

You made me sick, I began to pray
Yet it was I who had become a preyed upon victim
Now, just two years later
From a bench in Washington Square Park
I recall those days ever so dark

I hoped you were in jail so you could inflict hurt no more
I wished you the sadness you had made my personal lore
I soon found your story and trembled fiercely as I read:

The body of Dylan Robinson, a 20 year old man, was found among the ashes of a seven story high rise in the Hunt’s Point section of the Bronx this morning at 2AM. 

Mr. Robinson lived in the building with his mother.  The unemployed auto mechanic died of asphyxiation resulting from a fire that started in a neighbors apartment.  Firemen on the scene cite Mr. Robinson for his heroism in saving the lives of Dom and Maria Cromartie, ages 5 and 4.

Mr. Robinson passed both children to a fireman positioned on a ladder outside a fourth story window.  As Robinson passed the children to the fireman, the floor collapsed, consuming him in flame not to be seen alive again.

Of Mr. Robinson, the fireman said, “Strangely he smiled as he passed the children to me, as if unaware of his danger.  As I motioned him to step onto the ladder he said something just as the floor gave way beneath him.  I don’t know what he meant, but he said, “one good deed”, then he perished.”

Mr. Robinson’s father is in prison for domestic violence and armed robbery.  His mother, unemployed and a reputed alcoholic survived the blaze and is resting comfortably in Bronx Lebanon Hospital.  

Trembling harder, gasping, as if again 12 and he with me
I see something in this moment I had not seen before

He endured pain at least equal to mine own
His response to the mayhem of his life was to bully others 

I don’t condone his chosen course 
Yet I now have perspective from an unexpected source
That in itself is a joyous revelation 
My sense of self experiencing rapid elevation
Relieved, overjoyed, I scream - It wasn’t me
It was never me, I was convenient, nothing more

I stop trembling, breathing steadier
A chapter in my life’s book quietly closing
I now realize, both he and I were  
Preyed upon victims

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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