Politeness Will Not Protect You | Essay Contest Finalist

Each of us showed up with specific vulnerabilities informed by our own life experiences, but we all shared one common denominator: a pervasive fear of rape. Self-defense introduced a new discourse, one that challenged the myth of provocation and the concept of muscular strength as a primary measure of power. It dismantled long-held presumptions about male omnipotence.

Porch Time

As oceans-full of sky unleash spring storms to wash away drought it’s difficult to picture this earth parched, now wet with fresh bark from a pile by the barn. Even the sheep sound unsettled, their patterned movement between pastures disrupted. The lambs bleat—a call-and-response—to bridge the distance. Always after it rains there is a stillness. We creatures tune in, listening while we shelter: the drip of oak leaf onto gravel, the swish of a wing. . .
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