licktheabortion (licktheabortion) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

Halsey's powerful poem about her experiences with abuse that she read at the Women's March on NYC

I was at the Women's March on NYC. During the pre-march speeches, they announced that the next speaker would be Halsey. "Oh, I know about her from ONTD," I thought, and didn't expect much. She got up on stage, started fumbling around on her phone and speaking rather nonchalantly, so I was expecting even less. Then she started reading her poem, "A Story Like Mine"… After she was done, a woman next to me exclaimed, "wow, that was really powerful," which seemed to sum up the reaction of everyone present. I heard a lot of great speeches today, but hers left the deepest impression.

Thank you to wellalr1ght who typed up a transcription of the poem! You can find it below:

It's 2009 and I'm fourteen and I'm crying
Not really sure where I am
But I'm holding the hand of my best friend Sam
In the waiting room of a Planned Parenthood
The air is sterile and clean
And the walls are that - not grey, but green
And the lights are so bright they could burn a hole through the seam of my jeans
And my phone is buzzing in the pocket
My mom is asking me if I remembered my keys because she's closing the door
And she needs to lock it
But I can't tell my mom where I've gone
I can't tell anyone at all
You see, my best friend Sam was raped by a man
That we knew because he worked in the after-school program
And he held her down with her textbooks beside her
And he covered her mouth and then he came, inside her
So, now I'm with Sam at the place with the plan
Waiting for the results of a medical exam
And she's praying she doesn't need an abortion
She couldn't afford it
And her parents would like totally kill her

It's 2002 and my family just moved
And the only people I know were my mom's friend Sue and her son
He's got a case of matchbox cars
And he says that he'll teach me to play the guitar
If I just keep quiet
And the stairwell beside apartment 1245
Will haunt me in my sleep for as long as I am alive
And I'm too young to know why it aches in my thighs
But I must lie, I must lie
It's 2012 and I'm dating a guy
And I sleep in his bed and I just learned how to drive
And he's older than me and he drinks whiskey neat
And he's paying for everything
This adult thing, it's not cheap
We've been fighting a lot, almost ten times a week
And he wants to have sex and I just want to sleep
But he says I can't say no to him, this much I owe to him
He buys my dinner so I have to blow him
He's taken to forcing me down on my knees
And I'm confused because he's hurting me while he says "please"
And he's only a man and these things he just needs
He's my boyfriend, so why am I filled with unease?

It's 2017 and I live like a queen
And I've followed damn near every one of my dreams
I'm invincible and I'm so fucking naive
I believe I'm protected 'cause I live on a screen
Nobody would dare act that way around me
I've earned my protection, eternally clean
Until a man that I trust gets his hands in my pants
But I don't want none of that, I just wanted to dance
And I wake up the next morning like I'm in a trance
And there's blood
Is that my blood?
Hold on a minute
You see, I've worked every day since I was 18
I've toured everywhere from Japan to Mar-A-Lago
I even went onstage that night in Chicago
When I was having a miscarriage
I mean, I pied the piper
I put on a diaper and sang out my spleen
To a room full of teens
What do you mean this happened to me?
You can't put your hands on me
You don't know what my body has been through
I'm supposed to be safe now, I earned it

It's 2018 and I've realized that nobody is save as long as she is alive
And every friend that I know has a story like mine
And the world tells me we should take it as a compliment
But then heroes like Ashley and Simone and Gaby
Michaela and Gaga, Rosario, Aly
Remind me this is the beginning, it is not the finale
And that's why we're here
And that's why we rally
It's Olympians and a medical resident
And not one fucking word from the man who is president
It's about closed doors and secrets and legs in stilettos
From the Hollywood hills to the projects and ghettos
When babies are ripped from the arms of teen mothers
And child-brides cry globally from under the covers
Who don't have a voice on the magazine covers
They tell us take cover
But we are not free until all of us are free
So love your neighbor, please treat her kindly
Ask her her story and then shut up and listen
Black, Asian, poor, wealthy, trans, cis, Muslim, Christian
Listen, listen
And then yell at the top of your lungs
Be a voice for all those who have prisoner tongues
For the people who had to grow up way too young
There is work to be done
There are songs to be sung
Lord knows there's a war to be won

Sources: Halsey's Tweet, Halsey's Tweet 2
Tags: #metoo, black celebrities, celebrity social media, feminism / social issues, music / musician (pop), sexism, violence / domestic abuse

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