Trigger warning: This poem contains mention of sexual abuse.
I would be a wildflower with thorns,
and no fragrance but lush freedom,
and not those domesticated flowers, ordained
by disguised preachers of religion and love.
I would rather be that wildflower, you–
would think twice, before plucking and not suffer.
walking each day, with no shackles to break
and a better future to make.
Not marigolds or mogra when mixed with
the stench of foreign perfumes will turn
insipid and blanch in the scalding body
heat, as and when she screeches in pain.
I would rather be that wildflower who
stands alone, in your assorted garden,
than be ‘desh ki beti‘ and torn apart,
by those who call themselves ‘deshvasis‘ and be
silenced with a two-minute prayer.
I would rather be that, yes that wildflower
with a history rooted deep down in black soil.
The land, so fertile with stories of struggles and survival
against slavery and oppression.
I would rather be that wildflower with–
memories that are not mine to keep,
rocking myself to sleep with lies I
bought from my past to seek.
Deva Priya is a 24 year old from Kerala who likes to weave stories and is in love with the sea and sunsets.
Featured image: Deva Priya