4 Letter Words

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Sexual Harassment is a topic that affects everyone. I want to make it clear, for the purpose of this poem, a girls perspective is used, however sexual harassment does not have a gender, it can
happen to anyone. Facing it as a reality is something people are afraid to do... society is scared to see its own reflection at times. But hiding from the topic won't make a difference and I
figured for me personally, it was time to take this opportunity and share the message with others.

I remember seeing all the boys and girls playing in sand boxes,

building and breaking castles,

The girls pretending like they were the queen - queen of the castle, queen of the world, 

Queen of hearts.

Playing with boys, Playing cards, those Crazy Eights, 

Then, run to the TV to watch about the one who lives in a pineapple under the sea,

While feeding our tamagochies and learning from Bill Nye the guy who knew it all, that is, 

Next to the Magic School Bus, 

Then start a fuss about how we didn’t want 9 and a half children after playing that MASH game 14 times. 

The only X’s and Y’s we had to find, were the X’s that mama gave with the O’s that followed up.

And the Y’s came naturally like:

Why’s the sky blue? Why aren’t there anymore dinosaurs? Why be learning in school 

When we could be playing 7 up, and what better way to tell us what tomorrow would bring than

That So Raven and those Cootie-Catchers? 

But we never expected what tomorrow would actually bring..

I won’t lie, turning our heads to cigarettes and our alphabets forming simple 4 letter words that apparently meant nothing, like love, and hate, and stop, wasn’t anything my Cootie-Catchers ever told me. 

When I was younger, I used to hear it over and over; "the boy who pulls your hair likes you".

So, I accepted it and moved on to trading Pokemon cards as a symbol of friendship and chose him as the goose so we could race. 

What I never expected was that the same boy who pulled my hair, would later in life push another woman’s words away like they meant nothing. 

As if it was alright for a car not to stop at a red light in the middle of rush hour.

Because the rush of the hour he got with her was a high for him that lasted that hour,

But a scar for her that would last her life. 

And before you know the X’s became the marks she put down on her calendar to countdown the days it takes for her to forget, and the Y’s became a question of her life. 

The X’s and Y’s became her blood rushing through her pounding head,

While the pounding memory is what keeps her heart from beating for another man. 

Because the only thing that is beating, is the beat of her music taking her mind away so she doesn’t have to beat herself up over the same old memory again and again.

Crazy 8s became crazy 6s because she became that 1 out of every 6 women to go through sexual violence rendering her crazy over a story she would not dare speak. 

Her friends would see her as the Queen of Hearts, but she saw herself as the queen of silence, because that experience had taught her that shouting and screaming and yelling wasn’t enough. 

Love, hate and stop, all simple 4 letter words, weren’t enough.

She felt like she was not enough because as a little girl, she was told that love is pain and pain is love 

And when a boy would pull her hair, it was okay because it simply meant that he liked her. 

The list of those meaningless 4 letter words only grew bigger like the shiver in her soul making her try to outrun herself. 

She could run but she can’t hide, she could scream but it would only be denied because despite love, hate and stop being on the list of meaningless 4 letter words...

Pain was added on. 

The list towered over her, shadowed her, blinded her, showered her in the darkness of her reality.

She was picked as the goose but this time she didn’t have enough energy to run

So she couldn’t win making everyday another loss.

A loss of identity, her purity, no serenity in a destiny that she believed was as meaningless as the words on that list, 

And with the growth of the list, she realized that “girl” was a 4 letter word as well. 

It is time to grow up and move past this misconception and find a way to redefine every 4 letter word that still seems to means nothing. 

So, late is better than never to create a new list of 4 letter words. 

Let the second word be “care” so it could support the first word, which we’ll make “fair.” 

Fair as in equal. 

Equal as in man and woman. 

Because it makes me sick that we stick to an idea so lunatic that we don't get to pick who touches our bodies anymore. 

We need to teach kids that if a boy pulls a girl’s hair, it is not the way to show affection because that would be guiding both kids in the wrong direction, 

We need to teach kids 

that the word “love” should be used rarely but shown daily, 

That “hate” should be stored as a weapon of destruction

That “stop” should be able to work better than pepper spray

That “pain” should not gifted with joy 

That “girl”, is just as important as boy. 


Duck, duck, goose, 

You lose if you can't take the place of the meaningless words we need to replace.  






-Angela Toubis


Submitted: July 06, 2018

© Copyright 2021 AngTB. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Sean Terrence Best

You are a talented mystic with profound insight into the psychological undercurrents of human nature, Angela Toubis. The gift of your memorable words is spiritual enlightenment. I actually did play Crazy 8s with an elderly woman in a little village during a vacation to Ontario, Canada. What a mysterious world in which we live. Your heart-touching sonnet is a truly beautiful expression of gentle understanding.

Fri, July 6th, 2018 2:46am


Your comment was so thoughtful. I appreciate it beyond belief, thank you for that.

Fri, July 13th, 2018 2:34pm


So thoughtful, so well-constructed. Above all, such an important message. Excellent work!

Fri, July 6th, 2018 8:43pm

Sean Terrence Best

You are most welcome, Angela, I look forward to reading as many of your luminous compositions as you desire to share.

Tue, July 17th, 2018 3:19am

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