A short poem on the resistance to liberty that women face on a daily basis.
Written by Aarushi Ahluwalia
Don’t you get tired?
Don’t you get sick of fighting?
Fed up of all these candles you keep lighting?
Sick of talking about fear and rape?
The endless tirades on body shape?
Don’t you ever just want to sit down?
Smile brightly, wipe off the frown.
Dance gaily in the sun?
Don’t you ever just want to have fun?
The shackles of your bangles bring me no joy,
Liberty, really is my most favourite toy.
It doesn’t soothe my heart to dance,
Not as it does when I defend a stance.
I don’t care about the colour I paint my face,
And really, truly, please fuck grace.
Nothing feels quite like exercising choice,
not the pleasure you tell me is beauty and poise,
I can’t put on your role for fun,
when to me it’s the smoking barrel of a gun.
I don’t get tired, I don’t get sick,
I love entirely this life I pick.
It’s you, you’re the one who needs to find,
in me a woman that you defined.
And when you cannot find her anywhere you look,
You tell me there in unhappiness outside your book.
But I fight and shout and scream and defend,
With relish, my people to the very end.
In this life my joy is entirely mired,
Yet you ask me, don’t I get tired?
When really, I want to ask you the same.
Is breaking me really your only aim?
Is it really so important that I alter,
Each instance in which you think I falter?
Aren’t you tired of defending the wrong side?
Even after they took from you, cheated and lied?
You rob us, attack us and try to erase our pain?
And then ask if we don’t get sick of trying to say sane.
Even after everything we forgive,
Don’t you get sick of telling us how to live?