Just because I am quiet.



A poem.

My father was forged with fire,

if he saw injustice he fought it through

he walked on burning coals and argued for causes

by the time it was passed to me the fire had quietened.

I do not rage against dark nights

my nature is more amenable, selfish even

I like to stay out of fights

to each his own, live and let live.


But let that not blind you

to the darkened rage that burns

when I read about the girls

touched and cast aside like rag dolls

when day after day after day

young and old women are raped

when I listen to the wimps in denial

twisting words, playing the same blame games.


I can remember too easily the safety pin

that I used on crowded buses, the duck walk on the streets

they did not keep me unmolested

nothing kept us safe from those prying hands

prying hands that made us feel dirty

prying hands that disappeared in the crowd

even as we stood stunned into shame and silence

and brothers, fathers asked us what was wrong.


I too am afraid, I too rage, my blood boils

my heartbeat threatens to burst from my veins

and shatter into a million pieces

as I wait, wait for a chance to be the change

to bear the torch, to carry the flame

to somehow protect these women, these girls, these children

our daughters, our nieces, our friends

our selves from these vile hands and minds


Do not make the mistake of judging me

or think that I am weak

Do not once think I will not fight back

or that you have my consent.

For the blood that flows in me was forged of fire

and a single spark can bring down forests

lay waste to your sterile house and gardens.

Do not think I sit quietly just because I am quiet.





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