by Shirani Rajapakse
Sad eyes stare at the world outside,
iron bars lock you in. Four thick walls
mark your space. This is all you
have and nothing more. Proud strong
woman from my homeland you live
imprisoned in a web of lies they
churn out for money from crowds
that come to ogle as you stare
out of your cell with lonely gaze.
Your feet hold scars of neglect yet
the pain in your heart
can never be seen by those that claim
you are well. There’s no one in that space
that can share your grief. You hide it inside
as you have all these years. Can you
still speak oh woman of my land?
Do you understand the words
your ancestors spoke, recall the stories they
whispered to you as a child? Do you yearn
to walk across the lands they owned,
feel the breeze on your skin
once more as it blows warm and free?
Remember your life long ago dear friend,
in that faraway place divided by earth
and sea. You roamed with your
family, played in the woods,
picked up trunkfuls of earth that you
smeared on yourself, bathed in rivers deep
and narrow as the fish swam below between
your feet. Remember the days, you walked
with the herd across vast tracts,
brown and green and azure up above.
They promised you happiness
the day you were sent as a gift yet all
you got was this prison lonely
and sad. Solitary confinement yet you
committed no crime. How long will this last?
Every day you die
a little and every day the lies grow strong.
© 2012 Shirani Rajapakse