Tale

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash
Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

There’s a tale I’d like to pass on
from this generation to the next.

No, it’s not about the milk tooth
you learn to place under your pillow
with a hope that tooth fairy
grants you a wish in exchange.

It’s about the monster that waits
patiently for puberty to knock
your door or maybe not
I am not really sure anymore.

It’s about the monster that
camouflages in relationships
looking for an opportunity to
strike or maybe not
I am not really sure anymore.

It’s about the monster that
wears a familiar face but
feels you up strangely
when alone or maybe not
I am not really sure anymore.

It’s about a monster that
lives inside your house
or the house next door or
the next or maybe not
I am not really sure anymore.

It’s about the monster that
haunts the women of my family
or yours or ours or maybe not
I am not really sure anymore.

We were told to hush, lower our voices
“Don’t let it show, don’t let anyone know.”

The marks were masqueraded with
a dab of concealer, and bruised lips
wore a plastered smile perfected with
a tint of rose that further highlighted
our cheeks.

Cause red was not a
sign of anger, “She blushes often.”

Danger averted. No one knows.
And no one has to know.

We were told,
“Silence is a beautiful jewellery.”
Modest women don’t have scars
They don’t talk about monsters.

Instead,
they tell their kids about the tooth fairy
who grants wishes to those who keep
broken milk tooth under their pillows.

I will not weave these whims.
My children will not hear stories
about damsels in distress
Nor will they inherit
the ghosts of my past.

There’s a tale I’d like to pass on
from this generation to the next
It’s about monsters.
Beware.
Look around.
Keep looking around.
Don’t hush.
Break the silence.
Let it show.
Let everyone know.

And when puberty knocks on your door
Keep a fucking dagger under your pillow.

© Apoorva Bora

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