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Tuesday, November 19, 2019


by Rachel Mallalieu

Whatever you do, check
your tail lights before you leave
the neighborhood. And while
we’re on the subject of driving,
I know your dad doesn’t always
use his blinkers, but it’s imperative
that you signal when changing lanes.
When you are inevitably

Pulled over, please keep
both hands on the wheel while
you quietly wait. Calmly announce
what you’re doing before you
move. I know you’ve seen me
reach for my license and registration,
but you should not do this without
warning. Make sure to look him
in the eye, and say sir.
At all costs, you must

Show respect. If you are in a car
with friends and officers approach,
I forbid you to run—even if you are afraid.
In general, it’s better
not to hold your cell phone.
Someone may mistake it
for a gun. And speaking of

Guns, I’m afraid the Second Amendment
might not apply to you. Yes, your grandfather
keeps them, but I think it’s safer for you
to stay away. Sometimes, I think

It would be easier if you never
left home. Inside, you can
wear a hoodie without causing
undue fear. But when you’re home, please
double check to make sure the door
is not ajar. Lock it so no one
enters by mistake. Even then,

If in the middle of the night
you hear someone whispering
outside your window, while a flashlight
flickers on the glass, do not go
near the window. Please, whatever
you do, stay away from the window.
Instead, drop to the floor,
crawl under the bed, call
me and tell me you’re okay.

Rachel Mallalieu is an Emergency Physician and mother of five. She writes poetry in her spare time. Her work has been featured in TheNewVerse.News, Blood and Thunder, and is upcoming in Haunted Waters Press.