Poem – Whistle

Hi all,

I’ve been experimenting with some new styles of poetry, tech, presentation, themes.

Below is a new piece titled, Whistle. It is inspired by a memory that I had recently of when I was first moving out of home and my mum suggested that I buy a rape whistle.

⛔️Language warning

⛔️trigger warning (sensitive content)

I’ve posted the poem in written form and audio. But this poem was specifically writtten as spoken word; so reading it and listening to it will have two different effects.

T x

✨Whistle✨

What if I told you that I paint my fingernails black as a way to scream at the world?

What if I told you I hate being a girl?

And I swirl

and I furl

and unfurl

and then twirl in this body that is mine.

But is it mine?

Is it?

Because you keep threatening to take it when I walk down the street,

when I go out to eat,

when I close my eyes to sleep.

You push hard against me as I move towards the door,

each thrust a way of telling me that my body isn’t mine anymore.

I reach for keys,

I bleed through scraped knees,

I scream but no one hears

and I’m living out all my fears because of you,

because of you and all you can do,

to me.

Because of what you are capable of

and what my mum tried to warn me of

and now I’m running in the daylight

sweating the extremes

because the nightscapes are no longer safe for me

and my mum gave me a whistle, yes, a whistle.

She said I shouldn’t live alone, or go out at night.

She said I should always walk with friends

and stay away from taxi ranks

and not drink too much

or leave my drink unattended,

she said men are not to be befriended.

She didn’t tell me about her past

but I suspect something untoward happened to her,

and now I have this whistle that I’m supposed to blow

anytime a man comes too close

and this whistle is going to save me,

surely someone will come to my aid,

and I’ll be saved

because before I’m made to blow him,

I’ll blow that damn thing

and people will come running out of their homes and cars

to prevent me from lifelong scars.

Right?

Right?

It’s like yelling fire as a way to escape,

watch people run from their homes

and accidentally save you from being raped.

Or me.

Save me from being raped.

I was raised on fear and the seven o clock news:

teenage parties are where girls get raped,

you can’t play in the front yard anymore

because you’ll be snatched from behind your gate.

You will go missing.

Kissing, will get you into trouble.

So here’s a whistle.

Wear it around your neck because when you leave this house,

you leave your safety net.

And I remember my mum standing on the step of her door,

waving at me with fear in her eyes,

not even trying to disguise

her worry.

And she’s a mum and now I’m a mum and I get it.

But I don’t want a fucking whistle.

I want to drink and kiss and fuck and run at 5am when the moon is still winding down and the sun hasn’t yet come up.

I want to know I won’t be taken advantage of if I stumble out of a club.

I don’t want to wear a fucking whistle around my neck,

but if I do,

if that would suit you, mum,

if that would give you peace of mind and help you sleep at night then I will.

But I have an idea you may want to swish and swill:

While I’m wearing that whistle and looking over my shoulder,

while I’m wearing my car keys as a weapon interwoven between my fingers,

what are your thoughts on a cone?

Yes, a cone.

No not for me.

For them.

For men.

You know that thing we put around the neck of mutts

so they can’t lick and scratch and tear stitches from their own nuts.

How about a plastic cone to keep them in their own fucking zone.

How about a cone to stop them tearing down my home,

My body,

That is my own.

What if I told you that I paint my fingernails black as a way to scream at the world?

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