Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Weaker Vessel

I see myself
In the sight of men.

Men who exploited
My innocence,
My obedience,
My female body,
To gratify their own lusting.

To assuage the bursting ache of their own grasping for control, they used me.

Because of their use,
They despised me.

I am a
Walking manifestation of the
Evil they have been
And cannot acknowledge.
I must bear their shame:

It must be I who
Am too alluring
With my developing sexual body.

I who
In my very vulnerability
Should be protecting myself
And them
From their own over-reaching desires.

I am the one in the wrong place, in the wrong clothes, too weak, too alone, too silent.

I wear the mark
Of their transgressions
In my wounded eyes. 

I fear
The evil I must be
To have tempted those
In whose care I am
To violate their sacred responsibility.

The weight of their (my) shame weighs heavy on my soul.

(© 2013)

1 comment:

  1. Your poem is deep and heart wrenching. Did you just write this, or did you dig it out of the past and just post it recently. I definitely identify with it. In reading it, I feel your pain. So many societies blame the victim, especially the woman relative to sex … note the relatively recent occasion in India.

    As I read the poem, I also thought of journaling I have done and at least one poem I wrote that has to do with my sensing that the shame was mine, but it actually was my parents’, especially my dad’s. I was quite graphic with this as I wrote. I’ve sensed some improvement in my own sense of shame related to incest/sex/immorality/etc., but I feel there is more to be done … including broadening the scope of the shame in my life from my fundamentalistic enculturation, including original sin, “bad boy,” etc., some of which may stem from this sexual shame.

    Terry Gray