Voiceless Women

By Surjeet Kalsey

Yes, they are still sitting there
quietly waiting for someone
someone will come
and inscribe their fate
on their foreheads
or a stream of passion
would spring up from within
or a straw would become a pen.

Women are sitting in the house
as if they are stitting on the street
without its floor without its door
but walls are still their retreat

Voiceless women live in this house
within these four walls
without its door, without its floor
quietly they wait for someone
would come and spread out
earth under their feet.

The tale they wanted to tell
that has become aged, stopped.
The tale is circling within circle
from ages and their voice is not heard
their eyes are lit like lamps
on their wrinkled faces – waiting
waiting and waiting someone will come.
Their story is being written in their wrinkles
they will bury their story with their bodies
or a straw would become a pen
or they would remain voiceless even in this age.

The above poem was read at the Festival of South Asian Literature on 26 Sept. 2009 in Toronto in the opening session of the conference.

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