Don't talk to me about the 'gender divide'
as though it is a mystery to be plumbed.
I have not forgotten how a woman in Delhi
was beaten and raped and left to die;
nor how, in Britain, a child of thirteen
took the blame for her own abuse;
and I do not forget how many rapes go unreported
nor how every woman knows why;
and how each of us likes to think we would fearless
when none of us can ever be quite sure
until the time when we are tested,
when we, and we alone, are the ones
who, if not on trial, are questioned closely,
doubted, probed for cracks.
A barrister asked me once, in open court,
if I had taken off my knickers myself.
I was just a child but I stood my ground;
though I faltered, I would not cry;
but it did no good since they
blamed me anyway and I,
I have been crying ever since.
So, I do not forget all the mutilated women
and the women stoned and burned;
nor do I forget those women murdered
by the men who shared their beds.
I do not forget all the infants abused
or the grandmothers, robbed and raped;
or the women beheaded, and those shot or disfigured
who would neither lie down nor be still.
© Abigail Wyatt
Abigail Wyatt lives in Cornwall and writes whenever she can.