hush, don’t let little Ana hear,
the harsh words that exchange between the pair who call each other dear
it’s your voices, your mistakes;
but she feels the guilt
the banging doors, the separate beds, the glass that breaks
is why it’s hard to get through the walls she’s built
but you’ll never know this,
you’ll be too in your head to care;
of her muffled cries, her silent screams, you’ll forever remain unaware
even the little treats, the presents disguising the sorries,
they don’t make up for the emotions she buries
she puts on a smile, fakes a laugh, works herself to the bone-
scrounging, scraping for the love that is conditional, the love that is earned,
you convince yourself, she doesn’t remember, she’s too young
ignoring the fact that those instances change who she will become
the scars run deep
the memory replays;
of those bitter arguments, the gloomy days
because when two armies fight, it’s always the ground that gets burned

– Vaagisha Kanwar, Indus International School, Bengaluru


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