Poem: “Safer at Home in these United States” by Marie Cartier

Content Warning: Child abuse, domestic violence. 


Safer at home is what we are told to do in these United States right now,

and the idea is you will not be able

to spread the virus, or catch the virus, if you are home.


I was never safer at home growing up

and sure, people talk about that—safer at home—

but it’s not safe for everyone, especially if you don’t have a home,

and certainly not one you are safe in.


I think of the girl I pass sometimes, walking my dog at night.

She puts herself in a green bag and curls around the meter block to be invisible and sleeps.

She pulls the bag over her head and draws the cord. I was afraid it was a large animal dropped off

until I got closer and saw it was a woman, the top of her head visible beneath the closed bag.

I must understand that she has no home, and she came from one at some time– that was not safe.

Do you remember the little boy? So cute—with a little man’s hat and

a twinkle in his eye, eight years old. His parents beat him repeatedly because he didn’t put his toys away correctly, and because they thought he was gay. He was eight. Continue reading “Poem: “Safer at Home in these United States” by Marie Cartier”

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