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In the Bride Market



I am afraid to shed tears,
lest hot and heavy
they roll down and singe
the skin off my face.

The mirror has always seen my face;
my smile form religiously between my lips
at the slightest command.
What if I become lipless?
What if the flames from my burning vision
burn my eyelids?
Maybe the bones of my cheeks
so carefully painted will tell
the truthful tales of our age old agony,
hidden for centuries
in the urn of silence and rightness.
I am afraid to cry.

Let them look at me
adorned in finery-
from hair to neck; to breast; to waist
down to the little of my toes.
Let their gaze, hungry as ever,
circle around me and weigh me
putting me against Solomon's gold.
I am to be given away
with the harvest and the gold,
a fetish in the scriptures, a mute slave
in the bride mart.
Yet, dry-eyed, I stifle my woes.
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Submitted on July 21, 2017

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Dr Shruti Das Claim this poet

Dr Shruti Das is Associate professor in the P.G. Department of English in Berhampur University in Odisha, India. She is a translator, creative writer and a critic, writing bilingually in English and her native tongue Odia, published widely. She has participated in many National and International Seminars on English language, literature and Communication skills inside India and abroad. She has published many research articles and creative work, and has two books: From Margin to the Centre- A Toni Morrison Reader (2009) and Contemporary Communicative English (2010) to her credit. She is a BEC Examiner for Cambridge University in their ESOL programme in India. She is currently working on a book on Global Skills and Business Communication, and on a translation from a regional classic into English. She is a public speaker of repute. Her special interests are ELT; Postmodernism; Eco-criticism; Women Studies; Critical Theory; Indian Aesthetics; Translation and Soft Skills. She loves to travel and indulges in charity. more…

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    "In the Bride Market" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 2 Dec. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/75245/in-the-bride-market>.

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