Fresh: Screaming by Rachel Garner


Can I scream if I feel so
Inferior next to all the
Stick thin models that
Strut across the media
Shaming my size and
All my imperfections

Can I scream if a troll, no
Not the ones in fairytales
Worse, the internet, comes
And sends me horrid threats
Of rape, murder and death
Of all those I hold dear

Can I scream if my boss
Invites me into her office
And asks me if I’m dating
So she can figure out if
I’m a pregnancy risk and
Not worthy of promotion

Can I scream if I’m made to
Feel uncomfortable by the
Stares of men if I ever wear
Something “revealing” that
They feel they can shout
Across the street at me

Can I scream if that man
Sits next to me on the bus
And he starts talking to me
Inappropriately, leaning in
Towards me so no one else
Can hear the things he says

Can I scream if that hand
That reaches out of the
Darkness of a nightclub
And grabs at me, my bum
Or worse. Only to vanish
Before I can see its owner

Can I scream if my boyfriend
Tries to pressure me into
Something I’m not ready for
And he’s lying on top of me
So I can’t move. I can only
Close my eyes and hope …



Rachel Garner is a feminist, a lesbian and a poet. She’s been writing poetry for over half her life and uses her poetry to process her emotions, so has a varied range of work. She’s been based in Sheffield for over a year and is always looking for opportunities to perform her work. Read more from Rachel at her website No Angel Poems.

If you would like to appear in either Fresh, or our monthly poetry profile Fresh: Featured, then you can find out how right here!



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