Poems by Katy

Artwork by Kully Rehal

The Hands
Jolts awake,
The bus,
His hands,
It happens all over again.
Every night it haunts you,
The Mumbai rape that will never leave your mind.
You are the one in five,
Though you wonder if this number may be higher here.
Such a huge issue,
Yet no one cares.
The government laughs,
Friends scoff,
And family silences you.
“It is not acceptable” they say,
To share your story publicly,
But if you don’t who will?
The answer is no one.
No one will speak out,
No one will get help,
No one will fix this crisis.
It will remain an untouchable issue,
As the government puts the bandaid on a deep wound.
Never will you get justice,
Never will you get help,
Never will those hands leave your body.

Soul for talking
20 years old,
She walks with a friend.
Wandering the street,
Laughing over the movie.
Finally, she is done,
Rid of the stress from medical school.
Little does she know,
She will never see her degree.
Boarding a bus,
She smiles at her lovely date.
As the wheels move down the street,
The atmosphere changes.
She feels suffocated,
Fearing her life,
As the men move towards her.
One stands over her,
One wraps his hands around her neck,
One beats her friend,
And three stand by and watch.
They rape her,
They reach into her and pull out her insides,
They throw her off the bus.
A man finds her and screams for help,
But no one listens.
People walk by,
Ignoring the deafening screams,
Remaining the “innocent bystanders”.
By then it is too late,
Her future melts away in a moment.
She becomes one of the 25,000 women raped in India annually,
And there is nothing she could have done.
Her family blames themselves,
Her friend blames himself,
Yet the government blames her.
She was “asking for it”,
She was “dressed too promiscuously”,
She was “out too late”.
She did nothing wrong,
She is not the problem,
You are.
You with your bloody hands,
And your loosened belt.
You did this.
You took a woman’s future,
You destroyed a family,
Yet you will be just fine.
Let off to walk the streets,
Looking for another victim to grab,
Looking for another soul to take.

Mad Woman
Government laughs,
Family scoffs,
Friends call you crazy.
“Okay? So what?”  they respond,
Always making you feel like a dumb blonde.
Then, you remember it,
The night you were hit.
The night you did not consent,
Yet the night you could definitely not prevent.
You tell yourself that it was not your fault,
But what if it was?
What if your family is right?
What if you were asking for it?
Culture tells you that it was your fault.
The government’s response says it was your fault.
Maybe it was your fault.
The truth is that it is a culture,
A culture that is blatantly ignored,
A culture that cannot be cured.
Men idolize it,
Women fear it,
And the government ignores it.
Most cannot even say the word.

It is everywhere.
One in five,
Higher in countries like India,
Yet when is this addressed?
Who wants to fix this mess?
The answer is no one.
So you will remain silent,
No one needs to know of something that violent.
Never moving on,
Just staying strong.

About the Author

Kaitlyn (Katy) Brennan is a high school student and teenage activist. She fights for equal rights for everyone. You can find more of her writing on The Mighty and The Odyssey.