Chicago, 2005-2006

You call me and tell me to be careful,
fretting over the fact of your daughter living
alone in Chicago.  Images of me, my big purse-
sitting alone on the train.  You call to inform me
that another girl has been raped in Lincoln
Park.  Just Be Careful, as if Villa Park were
any different, or safer.  I know the threat,
the inclination of my naked body from men
of all colors and economies who eye
and yelp.  You tell me to be careful
as your 26 year old son sits
like a god, the power of his years
on his skin and between his legs.
Do you tell him to be careful, too?

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2 thoughts on “Chicago, 2005-2006

  1. Karen Sullivan says:

    The same five years ago, I was waiting for the bus at Clark and Division, talking on the phone to my mom, at about 10:00 at night. She was so worried about me, worried for my safety, that I was standing out there all alone in the dark. After reassuring her and reassuring her, I finally said, “Mom, when you were my age, you were living alone in Chicago and making frequent business trips to interview Medicaid users in the very poorest parts of Detroit. In the late 60’s.” She said, “Oh, I guess you’re right.” That was pretty much the last time we ever had to have that conversation.

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