The poem from my school’s Coffee House: Offensive vs. Defensive

The poem from my school’s Coffee House: Offensive vs. Defensive



Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in my school’s Coffee House. At Coffee House all students are invited to come and share their talents through music; be it singing or playing an instrument, poetry, or even dance.

It was one of the most freeing things I have participated in, and while I performed two poems, one happened to keep me thinking.

Now, this poem was not my favorite, but I grew to appreciate it more when I read it aloud to a crowd. The poem is called Offensive vs. Defensive.

I wrote it one night when I was trying to create something easily understandable out of a subject that is often a hotbed for heated conversations and division. I wanted to share it here, so hopefully anyone who reads this will think a little deeper as well.


Offensive vs. Defensive

When I was eight, my grandmother was worried I would be kidnapped
On the short walk from her house to mine
No more than a minute
She would watch me from
her porch
The light, nothing but a spotlight for her fear
I thought her silly 


When I was twelve, my grandmother was still worried
For the short walk I made from her house to mine
Still no more than a minute
She would show me clips on the news
Of “pretty girls” like me taken. Gone. Raped. Dead.
The light of her T.V., nothing more than something to accent her fear
I thought her intriguing


I am now fifteen
I still make the long trek of
one minute
Back and forth
But I run between the houses when the sun abandons me
I am not pretty, but they do not care about that
There is fear in me
Not because of my grandmother’s worrying
But because of the truth under every word that left her
scolding mouth 


Danger is evident for every young girl
If not your own, for another
So when I grow weary, there is no need to be defensive
There is all the reason to be on the offensive

Elisabeth Dellit is a 9th Grader at Jesuit High School. She enjoys reading, writing creative stories, baking/cooking and participating in her school’s drama program.