Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat
by Brittney Maddox

It was around 1:45 am  when they emerged from the shadows
three young adult males stood before us
My friends and I  kept quiet to ourselves
we just wanted to make it home after the costume party

Sensing our fear
They addressed us sweetie with their diabetic tongues
and molasses like smiles
They waited for our response
we answered with silence sugar free
we didn’t wanted  didn’t want any treats from those tricks
when you are female
and a group of males approaches you
at close to 2 in the morning
under the guise of an angels
who has hid their devil’s horns

The hair on the  back of your neck will stand stiff like cemetery gates
You are afraid that if you do not answer them
that the joke will be on  you

The devil  will lash out
call you  a bitch with his licorice whip   tongue in the night sky

he will stand in your way vying  for  your  sweet  attention until you
throw away your mask and reveal you aren’t  that sweet
Pepper spray will not be enough

Or he assault you with pitchfork punches
scarring your psyche leaving you  the neck bites of paranoia

The  three males  agitated, did not pop rock pop off on us that night.
There was that possibility how ever. My  sour patch story sounds familiar as it should.

You will hear this poem,read this poem
say the answer to my problem
is to not to go alone at night,wear another outfit/or costume
But everyday is halloween
when you are a woman
you are unsure of whom is wearing a mask

when you reach a certain age you are taught  to stay in
after dark

You are taught to stay in a group wherever you go
avoid alleys,clubs,and anywhere after 9pm
Avoid candy corn grin men who will abduct you
yet stick close to your male “friends”
that wear capes of misogyny

For they will shield you from rape culture
they are nice guys
as long as your skirt is not short
your bra is not showing
as you look good and play the part
of an angel

You are taught  to not to  look like a woman who he eats candy apples in the garden
of good and evil

When will stop teaching  boys and girls that what a female
chooses to  wear is an indicator of her character
and how you should address her

her  hemline  does not  scream beg for it
her neckline does not cry out  consent
her ensemble does not  ask you permission  to approach her

I want to dispose of the phrase boys will be boys like wrappers on the day after Halloween.

I am tired of wearing my mask and living in fear.  I am fearful of my male peers, fearful they  have hidden motives.
That night I  feared  for the girls who were alone that under the influence.
Who was watching them? Who lurked in the shadows? Who treated them  with respect or did they get tricked?

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