I wrote this poem to try and encapsulate the guilt and misplaced blame that so many sexual assault survivors battle with. I’m by no means a poet, I just write when I feel moved to write. Enjoy.
It was a chilly November day that changed a life forever.
Excited to garner the attention of an older boy, she remembered unbuttoning that extra button.
Was that one button what sealed her fate?
We may never know.
Her mom dropped her off to practice.
Neither of them knew she’d be practicing a new kind of action, one she wasn’t ready for.
Heart in her throat, she saw him approach.
Handsome, athletic frame. Broad shoulders. Powerful hands.
She hoped he noticed that extra button.
Excitement trickled down her spine.
She thought to herself that maybe today she would get to make-out.
She blushed at the thought. At the scandalous idea of his tongue with hers.
She glanced down at that extra button for confidence.
As they walked, the leaves crunched under their feet.
Their sport was forgotten as they walked through the trees, the chill of Autumn in the air.
An abandoned car, forsaken in the forest seemed a perfect spot to stop and talk.
He finally noticed that extra button.
As their eyes met, green to brown, anticipation coursed through her veins.
When their lips met there was a moment of bliss.
But then, wrong, all wrong.
Too fast and too strong.
More buttons fell to his fingers, and as her clothes were stripped so too were pieces of her soul.
Floating away, She left her body to watch from the calm of the golden leaves.
Two bodies moved as one did things to another.
A tear fell down her cheek and made its way to her chest. To that extra button.
Watching from the woods, she watched as the limp body was redressed by the one that had broken it.
The shell of the girl was given mouthwash and a comb to strip the autumn leaves from her hair.
The other body got on his skateboard and rode away, leaving the girl exactly as she had been an hour before, but different.
She looked down at the extra button.
Numb to the cold, she fumbled for her shirt, and then, only then, she buttoned that button…