On my way to somewhere else

A free verse poem

The best cup of tea
a stranger made for me
was in a cafe I had never noticed
on a street I often walked down
on my way to somewhere else.

Until, one day
I never walked that way
ever again.

He came from round the corner,
out of nowhere;
sudden, frightening pain.

People saw.
You know what that’s for
he muttered, but none of us did.
He disappeared (or hid).

They picked me up off the pavement,
ushered me inside
and while I cried
they tried
to decide what to do.
Some lights flashed blue.

I didn’t go to hospital, against advice
but drank tea
with two sugars,
which was nice.

They asked my name
and when they called, you came.
On the cafe sofa you were shaking
even more than me (probably
because you hadn’t had the tea.)

We drove up and down, the cops and I,
around the town to see if he
would reappear on a street nearby,
just waiting to be identified. Well,
obviously, that was a waste of time.

The bruises on my belly and
my nights got darker for a while.

Sleep blew across me;
storm clouds on a windy day.
It wouldn’t stay. I lay
awake and watched,
those hours just drift away.

I wasn’t wearing high heels
or a dress;
I was walking to the gym.
I left, because
they never arrested him.

For victims of assault:
it’s not your fault, and no
it isn’t fair.
I hope
a stranger’s there
to make a cup of tea for you.
And if they offer sugar,
ask for two.

© Amy Knight 2020

Wordsmith . Storyteller . Poet . Collaborator . Writes about love. Listens to what human hearts are whispering and sings it out loud. IG: @amyknightwriter

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