He's Behind You
by Sally Flint, with image by Martin Gollan
My shoes aren't suited for walking fast,
home's only minutes away ̶ I'm gripping
a door-key in my hand when, out of a gateway,
a shifting shadow, taller than me. Is it the man
from the bar who lined up shots, a random stranger
a rebuffed colleague ̶ maybe the ally of an ex
who's picking up pace? What if he demands a light
for a cigarette, asks directions. Now he's closing in
calculations thud about my body. I've taken self-defence
classes, my hair isn't long, blonde and in a ponytail.
My throat tightens. I've no choice; I stop:
face all the men who've ever thrown a woman to the ground.