Groups of teenage

boys laughing

like hyenas

still make me

grit my teeth and

tighten my grip

as the twelve

year old me

crosses her arms

across her chest,

pushes her eyes

down like a

criminal when

my only crime

was passing them

on the sidewalk.

Boys in packs

are hunters, not

friends and a twelve

year old girl can’t

fight back, so she

learns to walk fast

and smile like an

apology but not

like an offering.







Photo by Carolynn Primeau