Did Not Occur

You weren’t there

your eyes never met hers 

the blue ones full of fear 

your ears never picked up

a request for reprieve 


You weren’t there 

if you were I trust

you wouldn’t soon forget

that look on her face 

Forcibly Depleted 


You weren’t there 

replayed memories and settling fog

realization of shoplifted choices


You weren’t there

A beige couch 

anxiety reverberating out of her fingers

reclaiming her voice


You weren’t there

Yet she trusted you  

repay boldness with compassion

see sensitivity


Tell me how you can declare

those jagged words

“Did not occur”

Three words 

turn the nightmare relived nightly 

to a pathetic cry for attention


Tell me how you can scratch and claw

for the very voice of a hero

she stood on her shaky feet

declaring her pain 

and you mocked her for it


“Did not occur”

Means to us

“I do not care”


Tell me how you can so calmly announce 

Her pain is a lie

too bad she’s been carrying all this time 

a pesky burden

Self inflicted


You say

“Did not occur”

I bet her oppressor says the same


Yet we push our shoulders back

and push our feet into the concrete

We will not stand down

lest this injustice

“Did not occur”

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This poem is dedicated to my dear friend and roommate Hannah Hughes, whose bravery and fight against injustice is unmatched. My blood boils for the way she has been treated, and below is her story in her own words.

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