Poetry: "Smother Me Mother" by Anugraha Sundaravelu

Smother Me Mother
By Anugraha Sundaravelu

Smother me Mother , 
While I’m still a babe at your breast;
While I’m still crying in hunger and not in pain
As I lay there
With strange men inside of me,
Wishing you had just smothered me
While I was still a babe.
Smother me Mother, Before its too late;
And I wear a pretty dress,
Only to have men lech at my 12 year old legs
While I chase after butterflies;
Smother me mother, Before its too late;
I’m 16 and its dark outside,
And you wait for me to come home
Clutching  at the Dread in your chest that
whispers the questions, when? and if? 
In your ears;
I don’t understand why you hug me tight
as I walk in the door that night, 
But now I do as I wait for my daughter to
come back home to me,
clutching at the same dread that was yours;
Smother me Mother, before its too late;
I’m 22 and they tell me I asked for it
But all I asked for was a drink,
Just the same as him;
They tell me I was asking for it
But all I was asking was for them to
Smother me Mother, before its too late; 
The parking lot’s deserted and
I have to walk a few paces faster with my
car keys pointed outward like they taught
me in a self defense class because
They told me I would need it.
The sound of my heartbeat, deafening in
my ears, even as I shut the door and sit
there thankful for being safe.
Smother me Mother;
Before I look in the mirror every morning
Wondering  if what I’m wearing screams
Victim to someone
And I’m measuring my safety by the
colour of my lips and the length of my skirt
And you Look me over before I walk out the door
And give me an extra scarf just to be safe;
Not from the cold but from their eyes;
Smother me Mother before they make me
an object; a menu; a snack; a toy;
Before all they see is legs, thighs, breasts,
eyes, lips, back and neck;
Before they tell me its my fault for
Tempting them because I smiled too much
or I showed too much skin
And oh, I am such a tease and I need to be
taught a lesson;
Smother me Mother;
Before they hold me down, 
Against my will and make me
Front page news; 
My 20 minutes of pain in exchange for
Their  their 15 minutes of fame; 
While they hand me Shame to wear for
the rest of my days;
Before My head full of dreams is reduced
to a headcount of the day’s statistics;
Mother, You can call me your sweet child
and brush my hair back from my face
But can you hear me as they drag me by
the hair? To put me in my place.
You can give me dolls in pink dresses to
play with, even dress me up like one;
But when I am lying there by the side of that road
Naked, as lifeless as one of those dolls
And it hurts so much, Mother;
But no one hears my screams;
It’s an ugly sound and
Mother, I’m glad that most of all
You never did.

Anugraha Sundaravelu is a writer from India.

"I'm a 21 year old writer from India. I started writing when I was 18 as a means to give my thoughts a voice. My pen is like a microphone to my head; it screams my thoughts out loud and clear for anyone tuning in. I hope my writing touches someone, somewhere who might relate to it. I'm a master procrastinator, multitasker and day dreamer, perpetually working on my first novel in my head which I hope to get published one day. Poetry is all my emotions on paper and helps me get through the hard days."

On Her Work:

"The inspiration behind this is what we're seeing on the news at an alarming frequency and how rape culture is being programmed into our systems right from when we're girls, as something that's normal and another thing that women just have to 'deal' with. I wanted to bring to light the raw trauma of growing up a woman in such a society." 

On Female Creators:

"As a girl in today's society I believe we have so much to say that’s usually swept under the rug. I believe every story matters and I want to write these stories and give a voice to those that are being silenced. Every woman has a story to tell and we all need to listen."

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