Inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest
By Sakshi Srivastava
For a full conscious life, I saw no Man but you,
I remembered not one creature of my kind,
What beauty is, was what you told me,
and all possible folly took the shape of the Other.
When at the beginning of a new womanly life,
I wandered on the friendly shores of my secluded home
In awe I saw another man fitting in your plan,
An overwhelmed earthly bud seeing some heavenly light,
And before I knew, you had your eyes for the match,
I sat there as a gift, a deal, or a bountiful catch
My maidenhood, preserved from the subdued monster,
Was ‘purchased’ by a stranger of a far off land,
I do not complain, I cannot,
for Father, you always had the right,
Perhaps like the rest of the island, your magic sufficed.
And My new found Love! The contract sealed with my virgin knot,
Will be evidence of your prized and celebrated Manhood.
In some-just-alternate universe, I wish I could
Tell all how I was fair and virtuous and beautiful,
Because I didn’t fall for any Caliban, some Other,
someone different, but a Prince,
Yes, Son of a traitor, but never mind.
I do not complain, for Father, my Voice does not count,
it never did, among other significant things,
I only wished to see another piece of land with more faces,
Only to feel the tempestuous wind on my very skin,
Only to perceive on my own,
not on standards Your world created, conjured and conformed to.
To breathe air, unadulterated by your Word,
Sitting at the centre, puppeteering my existence.
Only to see A real New World, through my own eyes.
Sakshi Srivastava is a Research Scholar at the Department of English, Banaras Hindu University. She has been working on Critical Medical Humanities and writes regularly, but privately. Hailing from Ayodhya, her poems often have an underlying autobiographical motive and she likes conversations about music, books, food and movies.
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