She quietly slips away
For a few minutes everyday
Tells herself she’s having a good day

She climbs the steps discreetly
The first time she tried it, oh how her heart was beating
It was like the sound of a drum
Thump thump thump
It made her look around and run

Later on she received purple scars
Making her miss the sound of the drum
She sees the purple so much
When it happens, her heart barely makes a hum
The pain sits on the surface
No longer entrenching this now hollow drum
For she has now become numb

The drum which once produced joyful noise
And made people dance
Has now been replaced with a poisonous voice
And she occasionally appears to be in a trance.

Not letting people see
She goes through daily motions like an Oscar winner
But when she gets home,
He beats her with a stick because she’s the breadwinner?
Yet demands she cook his dinner
Berates her into being thinner
Manipulates her into thinking she’s the sinner

All alone in the house, no one
to stick up for her

And at work, she does everything she can so the monotonous hummmm
Of the drum is hidden
Covered by the joyful tunes they all appear to know
With concealer the scars can be hidden
When asked to go out past sunset,
She cannot say it is forbidden
So fakes an ailment, pretending to be bedridden

But soon the drum top begins to crack
People see behind the Duchenne smile
It becomes too much to hack
Her friend’s number she begins to dial
She’s busy, says she’ll call back in a while
The overwhelming feeling of numb
This humdrum…
Abused into staying mum
By the one she must dutifully call mum
Not being able to say a word to the one she lovingly calls mum





A decision

Which she

Can no


Take back

Because He took away


This was written to show the trauma many women, especially in the South Asian community that I am from, undergo physical and emotional abuse from their partners and in laws. The consequences can be extreme and it can lead to having to live a life not worth living, feeling trapped, becoming depressed and in more extreme cases, suicide. In the poem, I have called this act murder, because although the victim ended her life, it was clearly other people’s actions that lead to the tragic event.

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