To the man down the road (a poem) – by Katie

When out walking the dog, what happens if a stranger says hello? Do you greet them in return, smile politely and keep walking? What if they try to push the conversation, follow you during your walk and won’t stop?

To the man down the road

Walking the dog,
On the dirt road,
Strangers I meet,
Passing me swiftly.

Repeated head nods,
And smiles alike,
These known strangers,
With bound’ries I like.

Small talking is key,
Never amiss,
I know your dog,
But you, not so much.

One man I pass by,
Known face only,
He asks a lot,
As I smile along.

I must be polite,
Wanting to leave,
Hoping my dog,
Moves me on subtly.

I often leave fast,
Poor excuse used,
Hope no offence,
But have a nice day.

One day I came home,
Dog by my side,
He calls out “hey,”
I’m cringing inside.

He tries to talk more,
I refuse to come closer,
He asks what I do,
I try to leave faster.

I say I must go,
And he’s looking dismayed,
I walk home quickly,
Whilst glancing back swiftly.

A week goes passing,
No more problems afoot,
Until one night Dom
Interrupts my ev’ning.

He rides his bike near,
Unwelcomed in my space,
I try to walk on,
But the chit-chat persists.

He follows a bit,
Until I make distance,
I’m feeling bad now,
Why am I such a bitch?

I finish the walk,
Making mum collect me,
So I don’t pass by,
Where Dom last left me.

I know he’s no harm,
But I don’t feel safety,
I beat myself up,
Why do I feel so guilty?

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