In Her Eyes

Note: I don’t normally provide context, but I feel compelled to in this instance. I was very affected yesterday after reading of an 8-year-old girl who was very brutally sexually assaulted and murdered in Kathua earlier this year. I was shaken by what occurred, as well as the aftermath and the way that the incident was handled by authorities. I am also moved by the strength of all of the women (and men) who have and are still speaking out against this and tragically, so many more such assualts and abuses that occur, and go unreported or ignored, on a daily basis.


In her eyes
You were a trusted
Friend
An adult
Someone who would
Not hurt her
But help her
To grow
To learn
You took her hand
And led her
To the gallows
Of your own construction and design
Your body
Her judge, jury, and
Masked executioner
Axe gripped tightly
Between bulging, bloated fists
Hunger in your eyes
As you licked your lips
Sweat dripping
Your eyes
Thirsty

In her eyes
You are now
The shadows that move of their own volition
The dark alleyways that wreak of
Dripping garbage bags and rotting food
Wandering hands and shifting eyes
Everywhere she goes
Alone or otherwise

In her eyes
Your God
Is nothing more than
A dying old man
Flesh yellow and cheeks sallow
Wheezing through clouds of
Neglect and disease
Your temples and churches
Safehouses
For the perverted and criminal
Shrines to
Arrogance and greed
Vessels
Not to carry her to golden shorelines
But to be thrust
Repeatedly
Into an ever-expanding chamber
Of echoes and empty promises

In her eyes
You are everything
And nothing
All at once
A manifestation
Of the phrase
“Don’t talk to strangers”
A living reminder
That human beings have so much to give
But far more to take

In her eyes
There was a glow
A glimmer
Of hope
That the future could be different
There was a joy and longing
For all the beauty
Yet to be discovered
A yearning
To be involved
In the world outside her window

But that world is no longer inviting
It is terrifying
And the glimmer, the glow
Has turned to a flicker
Sheltered from the world
By shaking hands
And latched doors
The joy and longing
Replaced by
Fear and humiliation

But she is powerful.
She will nourish that flicker
With words and song
Whispered at first
Then slowly rising
Into a cacophony
That will drown out
Everything else
That will wash away
Everything else
She will burn brightly
With the force of every star in the sky
So blinding her approach will be
That the only vision you will remember
Is the rapidly advancing cavalcade
Of undiluted light
And time
And sheer will
Reflected with clarity
In her eyes

28 thoughts on “In Her Eyes

    1. I try very hard to remain optimistic. The strength of survivors and the outrage of those who are not blinded by apathy/ulterior motives can be inspiring. There is hope, no matter how dim it may seem.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Asifa’s death is too close to be objective about. What that child went through is unimaginable. I don’t think I’ll be able to write anything intelligble for the pain is too raw, the guilt to deep and the anger making me feel powerless.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I completely understand that. I am not particularly close to the situation, but the sheer horror had a profound impact on me. It came at a quite unfortunate time, at a lunch meeting with colleagues, and I did all I could to maintain composure; afterwards, I just sat in my car and wept. I just cannot imagine… My thoughts, my prayers, my energy, my love; to those who knew Asifa, to those who are affected, and to those who are working to seek justice.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am too close not just because I am a woman but a mother to a young daughter too. I am too close because I am an Indian and ashamed of my countrymen. Just today morning I signed a petition seeking justice because the political and religious undercurrents are obvious to us.
        If it could impact you so deeply, you can well imagine how we feel here.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is happening all too often. There seems to be only one focus in life for many and it is so low all they look for is sex and the power of it. I can hardly breathe reading your words. The pain is raw and the powerless anger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. FAR too often. So many people who can think only of themselves. So much pain caused for such a selfish and momentary pleasure. It makes my skin crawl.

      The anger is not powerless though. The anger just isn’t channelled yet. That anger is powerful. Very powerful.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. This was a very delicate subject to approach. I was very hesitant to post this… But my goal in writing has been so express what is happening in my life, in my mind, and this has been weighing heavily on me. It would be dishonest not to discuss it.

      Liked by 1 person

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