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!