She for She

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Notice. The women everyone calls strong.
With pillars for thighs and metal for bones.
Wide-eyed daughters raised like sons
Given away in marriage like homeless pawns.

Notice. The women everyone calls strong.
With pillars for thighs and metal for bones.
Notice. Their unfaltering facades.
Sculptured faces behind corporate walls.

Notice. Her bristling CVs.
Talon like nails and 3 inch heels.
Notice. She is the ambitious Career Woman.
A bitch, a whore, a corporate feminist.

Notice. Look closer and you’ll see.
Corpses of her strength lying unnoticed at the world’s feet.
Because  strength, it’s like animal hide.
Grown and shed in hidden disguise.

Strength is NOT genetic. Don’t ignore her because you think she is born with it.
Notice. Strength is a disintegrable entity,
Moulting in time with lizards and fleas.

Notice. How they sound.
Laboured breathing from punctured wounds.
Notice. How they look eerily same
Gory canvases of pride and shame.

Notice. It really isn’t so easy.
Hiding his bruises with her chiffon sleeves.
Notice. It’s not that hard to see.
Red-rimmed eyes clouded in grief.

Notice. The silent shrieks of vandalised dreams.
Cast aside by society’s needs.
Notice. The nervous laughter after every word
Political correction for being female thoughts.

Notice. The curve in her spine
From all the times she was forced to oblige
Notice. The notes of high pitched laughter
Grating like sandpaper on domestic j̶a̶i̶l̶s̶  walls
Notice. The lines around her eyes.
From suppressing truth and telling lies.
Notice. And you won’t be able to look away.
They call her strong, but she is only just a play
An actress, a performer,
A people pleaser, a liar.
Notice.
Listen.
Ask, hold, hug.
Drown.
And then rise together.
Hip to hip, shoulder to shoulder
The sky alone, is your only limit
So smile in valiance, in defiance
Smile for your sisters, friends and mothers
Let the tears dry on the helms of your saris
And dried sweat on starch ironed collars
And go,
Go again at the world
Pick your pieces from the soiled ground
Moult like panthers and tarantulas
Moult into a new strong.

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