I travelled to the Midwest

The true south the locals exclaim

From my liberal western home,

I thought I knew conservative beliefs.

I thought I’d experienced oppression, sexism

I knew a liberal’s sexism, a liberal’s prejudice


A southern man open the door

Slaps my ass as I walk through

I gasp

I feel my cheeks red with embarrassment

The others tingling from the sting of his hand


Onlookers gaze at us with acceptance

Men jealous they didn’t get the first touch

Women a sad understanding reassurance


I don’t want reassurance.

I want the stinging to fade, the imprint of his hand

Still present

The burn of my face is no longer embarrassment

It’s anger. It’s fury.

It’s the realization I can’t change society alone.


I want my liberal home- a false reality

Not the gentleman’s façade of the falsified south 


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