She was just walking home,
To the comfort of her lovers arms,
To the sound of cooking utensils
Making sense of the day,
To the warmth of domesticity
And all things light;
Curtains wide open,
She shouldn’t be long now.
One foot in front of the other,
Keys cutting through her fingertips,
Bleeding out her fear,
Escape route theorised,
Phone to her ear,
‘I’m on my way, darling,
It’s gotten quite dark here.’
Leggings aren’t revealing,
Or maybe they are?
Fuzzy faces look at her in every car,
And everyone asks if she had
One too many cocktails,
How drunk was she?
What was she wearing?
Why didn’t she get a taxi?
Why was she alone?
Well, she was just walking home.
And, after all,
Not all men are bad.
But his shadow casts a grave warning,
To let her know that no matter how many
Flowers you lay,
How many prayers you say,
How many women scream for help;
Bad men exist in all kinds of places,
And instead of teaching them not to be Bad,
We’re told to carry pepper spray in our
To pull out our hair in Uber’s,
To spit on the seatbelt,
To wear shoes we can run in,
To talk on the phone.
But, she was just walking home.
And it’s still always our fault.
It was only a cat-call,
A wolf whistle is a compliment,
Don’t be so uptight.
It was barely a touch,
And boys will be boys
So get used to it.
She was just walking home.
But you only seem to care when
Eliza Crawford / @elizacrawford_
'The Virtual Vigil' is a series of perspectives, emotions and poems written in response to the current political climate. As a feminist art collective we want to use our space to empower the voices of those affected by gender based violence. In doing so, we hope to challenge existing narratives and teach men that they have a collective responsibility to speak up and call out inappropriate and violent behaviours. If you would like to take part in our virtual vigil, please feel welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images by Emily Mort.