The Ways of Men

When I was five, my step-grandfather tried to put his hands in places they don’t belong
But I fought him off for even I knew his actions were wrong
We were alone in his sleek sedan, the kind with one long seat
I jumped in the back, yelled and screamed
and cried all the way home

And then in my early teens, my step-father tried the same,  
When he came home late one hot Texas night 
drunker than Cooter Brown from 
the hair of the dog that he drank everyday

He put on a record- Marty Robbins singing ‘El Paso’
The sound carried through the thin walls of the trailer, waking me
He came into my room, slipped 
his hands under the threadbare sheet 
tried to touch me where a father shouldn’t 
but in my terrified state, I slapped his hands away

When I was sixteen, a man tried to lure me into his van
in the parking lot of a mall, with promises of fame and fortune
if I only would let him take photos of me, 
because I was so beautiful you see

One evening, when I was nineteen 
I came upon a disheveled man 
in the potato chip aisle of a grocery store
I turned and ran, forgetting what I needed

So after all is said and done, I won’t ponder
On the ways of men~ Or the things they do to be seen

©2020 Linda Lee Lyberg

The Sunday Muse #134

Linda Lee Lyberg is a wife, mother, artist, published poet and author. She resides in Mesa, AZ with her husband Pete (aka The Big Viking) of 24 years, and her dog, Ricky Bobby. Linda writes various forms of poetry, as well as short stories. You can read more of her works at:
and purchase anthologies containing her work here: Amazon Author Page

28 Comments on “The Ways of Men

  1. Oh my gosh! So sorry at what you endured! So brave of you to fight them off! Sexual assault is horrible. Praying you have been able to heal through the years! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A rotten introduction to the male species. Here’s hoping you found there are some who are honest, strong and respectful of women. Your poem speaks for any young girls and women unfortunately.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This world is not safe for a girl child. Pretty much every little girl encounters some things that never should have happened. You had more than your share but I am glad you knew to make noise and resist. That must have scared the predators.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Linda I’m glad you were feisty enough to fight off these brutes. Every one trying to harm and exploit who they thought was an easy mark. Objectification and opportunity seem to be their hallmarks — the hallmarks of evil.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. sorry for their transgressions, so very glad you had the sense to escape.

    Predators have no respect for women, we have all endured such incidents! So glad you healed well and found a good man 🙂

    Have used those new words thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have known the dark ways of men having been abused as a child. This poem so truly resonates with the pain and fear that travels and harasses me at times. Powerful truth in your poem!

    Liked by 1 person

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