“Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially responsible for the harm that befell them,” says the source we love to hate, Wikipedia.
At a couple of readings I’ve done in the past, I’ve had readers say they anticipated something “judgemental” about women when I said the title of the poem below. It was first published in 2000 in “Miscellaneous” – an anthology of writings from St. Lucia.
Notice: no room left in this life.
A balanced act of burdens arranged
In order of acquisition, stacked
On a seesaw of her will and wits.
A pleading man came, desperate for
Lodgings, she moved her fulcrum
From the middle, let him occupy
Her vacant end. For a time it worked,
An equilibrium of chaos maintained
Until he upped and left,
No notice: a sudden lightness
In her life. She knew he’d gone
When her whole delicate structure
Collapsed in the direction of his going.