“Courage” by Ansuya Patel & Batya Weinbaum

Ansuya Patel & Batya Weinbaum


When I wrote a check for fifty dollars, 
that’s all I have I said to the taxi driver
who locked the doors of his black Mercedes.
He drove like a maniac down a dirt road.
Shall I drive, I asked. Don’t you trust me.
I’m not going to kill you, he yelled like 
he was doing me a favour. This is where 
you hang up faith, watch it somersault into air. 
He placed a hand on my thigh. You don’t want 
to touch me, I may have some awful disease. 
His fist hit the steering wheel. Crazy bitch, 
shut up. Give me all the money you have.
I swallowed my curses he unlocked the door,
I got out fast, fear he’d run me down. I walked 
for what seemed miles. A car passed by 
and stopped. You ok? I need a cab, I said.
Not around here. Get in, I’ll drop you. I talked 
music, he said he was off to steal wheels.
He turned up the music to electro beats. My feet 
tapped courage, I prayed all the way to neon lights.
Once home I picked up a pair of scissors, cut off 
my hair, it fell like a curtain at the end of the show.

from Rattle #83, Spring 2024
Tribute to Collaboration


Ansuya Patel & Batya Weinbaum: “We chose the theme courage. We both wrote a draft initially and used couplets to weave our experiences into one story. We had both been attacked by a stranger in a car many years ago. Writing in couplets allowed us to create the journey that changed us forever and remind us that courage has no gender. We have reclaimed our lives and the open road, proving that resilience is a formidable force in the face of adversity, and that no experience however dark can define the boundless potential within every individual.”

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