You received free rein

because of your size:

Shortness of stature, sympathy,

compassion, caring.

Your tongue like a gila monster’s,

sought females,

Spewed venomous sex talk;

Spoiled peace with your rotten anger.

Others milled around you,


Your wife with trapped eyes down.

While, I, like a captured soldier

in enemy country,

Stood and absorbed the blows

of cruel, foul words.

Left waiting for the day,

When there would be an answer,

That would take my pain away.

Linda Rosenthal (Oct.’17) says,I burst into tears this morning, thinking about the avalanche of stuff coming out everywhere about sexual assault and harassment.  I wrote this poem as a way of coping with at least one individual who targeted me in the past.  He is what was known in the old days as a ‘dwarf’ and I believe that his history turned him into a bitter beast.  He used the sympathy of others to behave in a bad way.  He is a nasty man who would say anything that he wanted to in order to humiliate women in a sexual way.  That admonition, ‘If you see something, say something,’ should extend into much of life.  How do people stop being bystanders and support women against this kind of behavior?”

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