Do not stand at our graves and weep

(by Sana Agarwal & illustrated by Vaneeza Jawad)

TW: violence, rape, death

do not stand at our graves and weep
for you never raised a finger to help
the infant that got raped
the 72 year old woman who was stripped of her dignity
the daughter beaten down to death for not obliging to society.

we make good headlines don’t we?
3 year old raped, another killed
you just flip through the newspaper
our cries become your morning chimes
our stories become your modern tales
rape culture is a half-empty vodka glass
you swallow down your throat every day
until something more tragic rolls around
do you remember our names?

do not stand at our graves and weep
our heartbreak is your dinner table conversation
you brag about yourselves getting all you want
you objectify women – this one’s fairer, but that one’s bigger
you keep scores – how many hymens did you break?
but alas
“men will be men”, won’t they?

do not stand at our graves and weep
the whacking sound of your leather
belt hitting her hips echo inside
the inhumane scars of your screams
bounce off the wooden coffin.

do not stand at our graves and weep
when you never let your daughters out of the kitchen
when you cover her every inch
as if her holy skin speaks of sins
when we go home to hearing
rape poems before kindergarten tales
nirbhaya’s case before cinderella
a mother’s plea
before shakespeare’s love sonnets.

do not stand at our graves and weep
for your triumph is our tragedy.

you can not defy our cries of protest in a thousand years
we do not need you
our tales of compassion
our struggle for right the soil we touched
the time that witnessed the air that we breathe our legacy
is proof enough of our strength.

(by Sana Agarwal & illustrated by Vaneeza Jawad) / TW: violence, rape, death

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