By Thiru Abeywardena
There’s a crick in my shoulder.
A stiffness; there it is again –
that niggling pain.
Hard like a boulder
yet heavier still…
what could it be?
Oh. Yes. I see.
the weight of the world.
Mine to bear;
so much wear and tear.
I sit here feeling; so much.
Unable to do anything but
the calamity and immobility
rendered by this weight;
What choices do I have –
Give up, let go, get crushed?
Forge on, pretend, stay hushed?
Be grateful, simply to exist?
Let it persist, and not resist?
What must I do, to take a stand –
for the world to somehow, understand?
I hold young lives, in my hands;
who watch, listen, yearn and learn;
lives that may follow in my mould;
opportunity! Cast in gold;
but will this load have to be
passed on to them – a legacy?
The weight of the world; borne by whom?
(This poem is written to commemorate the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, a global campaign taking place from 25 November to 10 December. It was written by a member of the Kavithé Collective – a platform for socially and politically engaged writing by Sri Lankans across the world. For more information visit www.kavithecollective.com. Submit your own creative writing to email@example.com.)