The Crucible

The woman from Delhi, and the one from Kashmir, both earlier this year, 
and the one on telly, from somewhere near here,
and many more; beautiful names they bore.
Many more, far too many more;
Oh the beauty and the terror in the names they bore!

Each one of them, when her screams were choked,
was it a prayer or a curse that she invoked?

Was it a prayer or a curse that she invoked 
when her scream was choked?

Her scream has gone viral.
In a smoky spiral, it spreads
into other women
her pain;
pain, viral, vaginal, spiritual, cultural, eternal..….
No woman now is only herself.
Woman gone viral!

She is the aborted female foetus,
the bound bloody foot,
sad, told she is mad and bad,
frigid if she says no,
a slut if she wants a go,
too sassy, too small,
too smart, too tall,
sold, controlled,  butted, rutted, survivor….

Forever survivor, 
screaming louder and louder………
in spite of the fables glorifying her abuse,
minimised by media, made back page news,
physiology, psychology used as excuse.

In an age beyond abolition, 
and human rights,
she fights
for life;
a crucible
about to ignite.

by Poonam Jain

Poonam Jain has always loved reading, but came late to writing. Her poems are an exploration of her own spiritual journey, as an Asian woman living in the UK, and her response to social injustice, based upon experience of social work, counselling, and of life. She performs her poems regularly, but is now seeking to have a wider audience and to build up a community to share feedback and support. Find her at