Daughter

Daughter,

I see you in the young girls

on the sidewalk, laughing,

jaunty, jolly,  in tight jeans

or  sarees swishing at their heels

fat or lissome, stocky or lean.

 

Their  soft skins glow like

the smooth petals of the plumeira

with the  ebullience of youth

and their bright luminous eyes

beam a confidence that life,

as they knew it, would last a lifetime –

just as you thought ,

daughter.

 

But then, to you,

The Unspeakable happened.

We bow our heads in grief

But our tight – shut eyes cannot shut out

the tragedy of your rape,

nor bring you back to life.

 

But speak we must, which is the least we can do

although our lips stick together ,

our teeth clench and our throats turn dry

and hoarse with horror .

 

Speak up against the bestiality of some men

Whose cruelty is well beyond

the nature of the beasts:

Five dogs may line up near a bitch, each

snarling for his pleasure,

but: they’d never think of  clubbing her

nor ramming metal rods in her

nor try to run her over in a bus

for good measure : –

that’s the human demons’ forte.

 

Battered, shattered, mangled

cut up, sewn up, entangled

in a web of tubes and bandages,

Your life spluttered in and out

And in the end you died,

Damina.

And now, your ashes scattered,

you are gone –

But  the scum who did it all:

They  live on.