Girl, Immortal – Renjini Rajagopalan, Kerala


We die, us women,

Such everyday deaths,

In our everyday lives,

Resurrected by sorrow, only to die again.

We are ripped

From our mothers womb

A haven, you would gladly give your sons

A privileged lot, where you forgo nature’s choice

And choose to plant the seeds of male ego,

For you believe, in your ignorance,

That boys make brave heroes,

But we women, tender hearts, warm hands,

We, who are braver,

We, who die,

Before ever being allowed to live.

There are those among us,

Who live only to be entombed,

A shroud of living death,

When you deny us the right to live, play, frolic –

The satchel, the pen, and the paper dolls

When you cut us from life’s living will.

Will there be markets in my grandson’s time

I wonder, to bid girls away?

There are already bidders and bride prices

Little girls in cattle stalls, tethered to ancient beliefs

Of male ascendancy, and fettered to oppression.

We carry the seed and nurture the plant,

We, who are the roots to your branches,

We, who cradle you,

From the first gleam in our eyes to the soft weight in our wombs.

So, when you kill us little girls,

When you burn us Brides,

When you softly push the grains

Of fatality (Oh, Usilampatti),

Into our mouths

And let us choke and die,

Do you forget, how you deny,

Your own right to be born?


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