(There are) many stories which are not on paper,
they are written in the bodies and minds of women.
— Amrita Pritam
I hear her each morning
before she rounds the corner
heading to the well.
It is a shuffling, almost furtive,
where her worn sandals
scuffle hard-packed dust.
It would have been kinder to kill her,
but he is not a kind man.
Something about her scuffle
excites him. Reminds him of
the strength it took to take her —
to break her.
Yet there is something else
there in her sound that
rounds the corner each morning.
It is determination.
It is refusal.
It is victory.
Punam is today’s guest host for dVerse’ Poetics. Punam says:
For today’s poetics I am sharing five lines from various poems of Amrita Pritam. Use anyone of them as an epigraph, or as a springboard for your verse. Write in a form of your choice. Do mention Amrita Pritam as the source of your inspiration.
- When a man denies the power of women, he is denying his subconscious.
- Like an offering at the altar of the spirit, our names slipping out of our lips, became a sacred hymn.
- (There are) many stories which are not on paper, they are written in the bodies and minds of women.
- Perhaps I will become a ray of sunshine, to be embraced by your colours. I will paint myself on your canvas.
- Look further on ahead, there between truth and falsehood, a little empty space.
top image: “Woman at the Well iii” by Hyatt Moore
Oops! Apologies for forgetting to put the title on it. I blamed WP but it was my boo boo.