At noon, I rode the subway

With my cat in my bag,

Taunting strangers approached uninvited

When ignored, called me a hag.

 

They laughed a mocking tone

While seething anger burnt my throat

Powerless, I sat tight despairing,

Even as they continued to gloat.

 

Why was I taught to be

Quiet and feverishly meek?

Why did I have to cower and hide?

It was they who of cowardice reeked.

 

Why was I taught to question

My own self first, the way I sat,

And gather my skirts, and comfort

The mewling heard from my bag?

 

Why was I taught to laugh

But never too loud?

Couldn’t I have taunted back

Would they have dared to turn around?

 

Why was I told never to fight?

That it was good to pretend

To be weak and in need of help?

Whose ego is it waxing in the end?

 

Why do I have to watch everything?

Am I in prison – How I eat,

And where I sleep, where I go

And when I go, and who I see?

 

Would you rather I be invisible?

Shrink and shrink into myself

Like a spider’s legs as it dies

Help you feel better about yourself?

About the Author

 

Sreesha Divakaran believes writing is a journey, an education, a cathartic release, and a hundred other lives all rolled into one. She started writing at a young age and later began to share her stories on her blog, http://petrichorandclouds.wordpress.com. She has published two poetry collections and her short stories have been published in several anthologies. She dreams of being curled up under a blanket and hibernating for a good six months, but life always has other plans!