It Could Have Been Me

girl

A mad peak time dash to the tube,

A burst of rain leaving her sopping wet.

Yet a rough hand dared creep up her shirt.

Momentary shock. Blistering fury.

It could have been me.

.

A relaxing walk after dinner to unwind,

A silent song of the crickets escorting her,

Yet two more limbs preyed on her footsteps.

Engulfing panic. Anguished prayers.

It could have been me.

.

A social visit full of happy celebrations,

A volley of laughs and drinks kept revolving,

Yet a once fatherly pat became a groping touch.

Sickening grief. Perpetual distrust.

It could have been me.

.

A daunting desk held her dreams together,

A review that threatened to drown it all down,

Yet roving eyes at her cleavage made a proposal.

Shrinking confidence. Appalling disgust.

It could have been me.

.

A weekend getaway promising delights,

A cabin in the woods offering warm solace.

Yet a cordial neighbor turned brutal predator.

Excruciating agony. Numbing senses.

It could have been me.

.

A sacred vow of seven lifetimes together,

A rainbow of dreams seeded for the future,

Yet the trusted husband forced himself upon her,

Devastating heartbreak. Shattered bonds.

It could have been me.


A poem based on true stories – mine and countless other women. This was in reaction to the comments put forth by the Delhi rape convict two days back, “A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy…” Sickening!

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57 thoughts on “It Could Have Been Me

  1. Your poem paints a true picture with sad colours of black blue and grey. When will our landscape turn colourful and verdant?

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  2. Very powerful poem. The refrain really brings home the message that women are still prey for abusive men. It’s appalling that anyone would think women are to blame for rape! Thank you for writing this.

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  3. And it isn’t just India. When a woman is raped here in the US, still, it is her history that goes on trial – what was she wearing? had she had sex before with someone else? What did she say? It seems it is always the women at fault and has been since the beginning of time. There are so many of us who have been brutalized in any or more of the verses you wrote. Powerful poem indeed.

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  4. That rapist’s quote is sickening. Blaming the victim. Argh. Your poem is powerful, and true, and each of those instances could be and is every girl and woman, at some time in her life. There is anoither quote, Alice Walker, “It is not safe to be a girl child in a world of men.” Fantastic write.

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  5. Such a powerful piece. The last two lines of each stanza are so striking! One never wants to believe it could be one’s self; yet, the truth is, it could be anyone. And most often it is by someone you know or trust. I think this is something everyone needs to read.

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    • It always happens to the people in the newspaper… never us. What a sad and wrong perception we used to live in. Thank you Renada for sharing your views.

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  6. To all those who shame and deny: It could have been me. It could have been you. It could have been your sister, mother, child or wife. Powerful and important writing. Great job!

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