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Shared Predator

predatory man

“Shared Predator”

©Gabrielle Faust 2024



She was walking along a trail,

It was a beautiful summer day,

Or was it winter or fall?

She couldn’t recall.

Little details becoming obscured,

In the haze of it all.

The wind was crisp,

The music that filled her ears

Was swift and sweet and

Full of promise and determination,

Yet, in the back of her mind

A tiny voice whispered,

“Be aware.”


But there in the city,

There were no bears,

She had moved to this

New landscape of enterprise

And futuristic skyscrapers,

Dreams of tech drama and

Artistic innovation,

A sweet little thing,

From a place of backwater streams,

Who fought to escape,

The horrors that she had seen,

Born witness to the oblivious

And righteous indignation of

The men who thought,

She should serve and bow,

As if she was bought,

Incensed by her determination.


Now, every morning she awoke,

In her tiny spartan room,

To nightmares of hands,

Catcalls and degradation,

Their movements against

Her body she fought to refuse,

To remember just how cruel,

Their advances and words

Had afflicted more than her body,

But her mind, her psyche.


A bear would never accept

Such abuse from a man.

He would devour him.

Sternum to stem,

Strip him down to the bone.

A bear would never fear,

Walking alone.


The wind picked up,

This she remembered,

The trail before her empty,

But behind her, a figure,

She caught glimpses in the water,

Of the river to her right,

Sunlight distorting until she

Though she might be imagining

The feeling of being stalked,

Her paces increased,

With her heartbeat,

Until she thought she could call out,

She should scream,

But it was too late.

He was already there.

Under the bridge,

Where her scream was drowned out

By the sound of the stream.


There was no bear,

Only a man,

And she knew what to do,

Play dead unless

The worst would come true,

But perhaps a bear would have been better?

Instead of playing dead,

Instead of being fettered,

To the memories of that sunny day,

Or was it overcast, filled with haze,

She thinks now a bear might have protected her,

From their true shared predator,

The man who decided,

She was no better,

Better than a bear he hunted,

On the weekends,

In colder weather.

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