Submissions open for Wingword Poetry Prize 2020

War Inside me

shaoni das

There is a war inside me,
which will not tamp down,
until I tell you this.
When three girls stood around me,
while I cowered from their gazes;
until I took my first swing,
I was a coward.  
I was a coward, the first time I saw 
them doing the same to a friend. 
For you see, bullies 
don't do anything.
They just look straight into your eyes,
until fear seeps deep inside your heart,
to your stomach ; to your lungs,
making you nauseous. 
Breaking your bones,
Carving out their laugh lines on your back,
their weight pulling you down
and crippling you from within. 
At sixteen, when a stranger jerked 
his penis at my left hand,
while I stayed numb,
I remember running away. 
Until the next guy did the same,
and I inserted my hair pin right into
his thigh. 
So, I will keep calling you out,
until your words will stop coming to me,
after I go to bed every night. 
I will write dissent poetry,
until your laughter dies down in the nearby junkyard.
I will pull you out of your hole,
until you apologize for touching 
me without my consent. 
Until you stop commenting on my food;
My language and the dress I drape 
myself with. 
I will keep going until hope gets diminished. 
Until I light a candle out of that hope,
plant a seed and grow a rose out of it. 

2 comments

  • Beautifully written. Kudos! <3

    Bhanu
  • Amazing Shaoni ✨❤️

    YASH

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