Sunday, May 20, 2018

Poem by Margaret Randall

Some girls said Albuquerque High boys
kissed better
and when the captain of the downtown football team
asked me out I trembled yes
beneath anxious folds
of Dotted Swiss.

When one running-back hand tore at my blouse
and the other charged between my legs
I cried for him to stop
and to the couple in front for help.
Their moans sounded light years away.
He laughed, pried deeper, at ease
with male right.

Through the triangle of window
a splash of stars
seemed distant and pale.
I took remembered advice
and brought my knee up
fast and sharp to his groin.

He let go and I pushed the door,
leapt free and ran
down a rocky road
‘til I hit pavement
and kept on running
afraid he might follow.

But I was alone that night
flying toward city lights
panting and crying
slowing to walk
then running again
until my house appeared.

Years later I could say
the word rape
—what the high school football star
did to me that night—
know he didn’t follow
because it wasn’t me he wanted,

only conquest there on that car seat
in the presence of buddies,
only the ancient ritual
of male entitlement:
another notch
on the stock of his teenage gun.

My daughter, the one learning English Literature, has to write an essay on a 20th Century poet.
She selected Margaret Randall. She lived in Latin America (Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua) from 1961 to 1984. 
When she came home, the US Immigration and Naturalization Service ordered her deported:
 the only case of an American poet forbidden to return home. In Mexico she edited a leftist literary magazine, el Corno Emplumado, which I read.. 
Thus I got to read the above poem and re-publish it here.  

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