Monday, 1 August 2016


Unknown Girl

Busy office mid the traffic roar. My

phone has shrilled a dozen times before. Now

a girl is crying down the line; keeps crying,

crying all the time. “Don't speak, just hear. I've

taken pills but feel no fear. I random-

dialled; need someone there; unseen confessor

for my prayer, a ghost to know the reason

why, at seventeen, I chose to die. When

mother went I was alone – though he was

there, so life and body not my own. I've

run away but no escape. He traces

me and then the rape. He gets a key and

wakes me in the dead of night. He beats me

when I say, I'll tell, or makes to mark me

with a knife. It's living hell, devalued

life. His friends, he says, fill every place, from

law to health and Women's Aid. I see a

spy in every face. I can't seek help, I'm

too afraid. My very soul must bear the

brand of his misuse, and yet I feel I've

no excuse. If God absolves me from all

blame, why do I feel this dreadful shame? It's

so unjust! My life's debased by this man's

lust. He won't have me anymore; just find

me lying on the floor...” Leaves me with an

empty line; crying, crying all the time

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