Give Our Girls Those Guns

Reena Prasad

Reena Prasad is a poet/writer from India, currently living in Sharjah (United Arab Emirates). Her poems have been published in several anthologies and journals e.g. The Copperfield Review, First Literary Review-East, Angle Journal, Poetry Quarterly etc. She is also the Destiny Poets UK's, Poet of the year for 2014 and one of the editors of The Significant Anthology released in 2015. She can be read at 'Butterflies Of Time'.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

It’s an poem. Reena cautions the girl of the many dangers she faces in the world of men.

Crunch by crunch the advances
In its jaws I hear the baby next door scream
my own safe(?) at school The teacher wants skirts to cover soft knees
A girl asks
if it is to keep knees from being scraped while at play
Girl, the devil is at play and no knee or finger is safe

We in war zones
our hearts are zombie battlefields
At sundown, we collect our wounded
and wait for the next siren to go
The news is a pamphlet of the devil’s conquests


Imagination refuses to budge past the bus door
Kids in there clutching tiffin boxes, cookies, bread and jam
Waterbottles still with teats
Eager faces flushed with a mother’s parting kiss
Neat shirts ironed with a father’s pride
Books in their satchels, crayon boxes, coloured pictures
Blatant manifestos of childhood
and in none of them is a hint of the sacrificial lambs to be

Will you come home
to extend your innocence by a day more
or come back in bits to be stitched into a quilt doll that never laughs?

I won’t send you out anymore, not a second out of my sight
not an inch away from my breast, just come back for another day
I pray while combing unruly hair into place
almost becoming the mother whose didn’t return one day
and then turning back into me
at the end of the day when you do

Why rote-learn absolute tripe like moral science
when all you need is self defence and practice
right from the cradle if you have survived it?

Walled-in enclosures are a great                                                            
say the ‘ experts’
so are buses,  roads, markets, malls and open fields
Don’t homes have walls and minds too?

Men are everywhere
and with the shapeshifting around these days
no one can really tell a man from one

Pix from net