Poem: Thirsting To Escape

Anjali wanted to fly. The gossamer wings of her ambitions throbbed for wind to gush between and against them

But He said no. She grieved, for she expected the stabs of her Father’s razor tongue to ease away

Ever since mum was torched to death – but she was wrong.

In Jamaica, surrounded by the friendliest people and lapping up the Patois accent

Yet every morning and night she’d be back in India.

Father picked up where the Raj had left off, the weight of misogynistic oppression

Cracking her tiny bones just that little bit more every day.

Sister was reduced to splinters years ago. Brother piled the weight on, a sadistic smirk surgically implanted onto his face.

Anjali wanted an education, so she could grow up into an astrophysicist.

Father, on the other hand, wanted her to be a “good” obedient wife to a man she didn’t like or know.

Keeping her gaze down, not daring to glance at any other male while he watched her. VERY closely,

Biding his time for the blood-red flag to be raised to announce the onset of puberty.

Living across the street from the most beautiful school in Jamaica yet Father was honour-bound

To keep her parched, roasting in the deserts of ignorance. Knowledge, whether a trickle

Or an oasis, had to stay hidden in the well of her brain lest he demolish it,

Haemorrhage it out of her like a desert-ravaged vampire. Like the Rainbow Snake who ate the fertility-mother’s daughters in Aboriginal mythology

It was his job to possess females’ God-given birthright to power.

She couldn’t take it any longer, waiting til she’s bigger and stronger would have to wait.

Immigrated herself back to Portland Parish from the ghetto of Taj Mahal.

Wind gushed against her skin harder and harder as she accelerated. For the first time ever

The gossamer wings of her ambitions stretched, making the rainbow jealous of their colours,

Stretched and caught the wind by surprise.

Steady and straight toward the most beautiful school in Jamaica she fluttered.

Of course she’d need to quench her dehydrated mental faculties before she could go faster or further but…

At last Anjali flew.

© One Tawny Stranger 2014

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