“It’s usually someone you know,” they say.
For me, that was true.
Out walking near the woods in my sister’s neighborhood,
in broad daylight, a hand clamped tight over my mouth,
rasping words threatened me about screaming.
When I recognized the voice,
my heart burst with anger more than fear.
But the fear came, like a rock down a hillside gaining speed.

After half an hour of stones and sticks
pushing against my bare legs,
I heard my mother’s car coming down the street,
heard her voice calling me—I had been out too long…
Somehow I said, “Hurry, run, we’ll run the other way!”

Where does a fourteen year old girl find a calm voice
while an eighteen year old boy thrusts his hard body against hers?
But he believed me, lifted himself off me,
and before he could pull me with him,
I was up and into the street, into my mother’s arms.

Minutes later my mother told my sister what Joe had done.
My sister’s husband, Joe’s brother, smirked and said,
“Are you sure? What did you do to him?”

No one in my family talked about it from that day on.
I didn’t see or hear about Joe for years.
Then I heard he went to jail
For raping a ten year old girl in an elevator.
Months after, my sister told me
he hanged himself in his cell.