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I Heard The Unspoken… [#Poetry]

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We tend to normalize violence against women to an extent where it remains unspoken and make excuses in our minds for the perpetrator.

Author’s note: This poem is from my interactions with the woman I have mentioned in it, and depicts how we have chosen to kept silent and normalised patriarchy in day to day life.

I heard the unspoken

I heard the unspoken,
When we ended up strolling and chatting that extra mile,
While you said that you were tired at the start,
Thought of congratulating you on your stamina,
Suddenly, my heart contracted with fear and rage,
When I saw, that cigarette burn on your neck.

I heard the unspoken,
When your daughter jumped with joy to see me,
Perplexed at my new-found popularity,
I delved a deeper, when she held me tight with her plastered hand.
I could decipher the scene in her hand
In which you were burnt with that cigarette stub,
That left a signature on the neck.

I heard the unspoken,
When you meekly defended your father’s choice of groom for you,
Saying your father knew the best –
You could not defend the losing shine of intellect,
Your father’s and husband’s values
Travelling in time machine a decade back,
I resurrected that ‘radiant’ teenager in my mind,
Hearing you out but not agreeing to that meek defence in front of you.

I heard the unspoken,
When you helped your brother in apply to universities abroad,
While waiting for a groom to take you your honeymoon,
Postponing your dream of higher education forever,
You found solace in writing out another’s application
I heard that unfulfilled desire, in that embrace,
I did try to jolt you and say, ‘take care’!

I heard the unspoken,
When you offered me sweets,
Saying you are pregnant again.
Joyous and excited, I did hear you in that happy hug,
When you said, your husband is happy about the child.
Hesitantly, I did ask about your happiness,
You cut me fast saying that’s how marriages last!

In all the unspoken words,
We did hear each other.
Yet we chose to kept veil of pretence,
Normalizing patriarchy in all the banter with hidden tears…

I heard the unspoken!

Image source: shutterstock

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Priya Tripathi

Priya Tripathi

Priya Tripathi identifies herself as a feminist, bibliophile, survivor and a runner. She believes her upbringing in small town in a highly patriarchal set up has been a blessing in disguise. It helped her to develop perspective on the issues and to make best use of the opportunities she got later in life. She believes women need to develop their own narrative and share their personal stories to mark their presence in the world. Writing about running, patriarchy and Child sexual abuse are cathartic experience for her.

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