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 ,
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,
And now, your ashes scattered,
you are gone –
But the scum who did it all:
They live on.