5 Days Remaining
Sarah Doyle

Thursday 19th
posted by Jody Porter in Arts

Well Versed is edited by Jody Porter

Sarah Doyle

When you first got breasts, aged twelve. The winks,
the “nice tits (it’s a compliment)”, the “show us your
bra”. How far is too far? That man in Oxford Street
who pushed you against a wall “for a feel”. No big
deal. He liked the look of you, that’s all. Every blown
kiss and catcall – a compliment. The one who wanked
at you in an Islington park – it wasn’t even dark, broad
daylight, but he was so blatant. The colleagues wanting
to take you for a drink – “just one drink – we’ll all think
you’re a lesbian if you don’t”. That time in someone’s
car. The corridor squeeze, the accidentally brushed breasts,
the ease with which they do it. That date where the kissing
went too far, and you couldn’t make it stop – how he
surprised you, the strength of him, his knee rising between
your thighs, too determined to be shaken off, and you
didn’t feel entitled to name it rape because he didn’t hit
you, but the shame, to be so easily caught, the “my fault
my fault” mantra you recited into your pillow for years.
Enough tears. Enough silence. It was all of us but we
never knew. Sisters, take my hands, we can say it together:
             me too
                       me too
                                 me too.

Sarah Doyle is the Pre-Raphaelite Society’s Poet-in-Residence and recently completed an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway College. She has been published widely in magazines, journals and anthologies and she is co-author of Dreaming Spheres: Poems of the Solar System (PS Publishing, 2014).

Well Versed is edited by Jody Porter (
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