‘Chin up, Princess’, they tell me,
‘Lest your crown fall’, like it’s a catastrophe,
As though I’m not human like you,
As though I’m not allowed to fall—
‘Be poised and watch your step,
Don’t let them catch you slipping,
Keep your head straight, think tall,’
Don’t you think I’ve heard it before?
Once, or twice, or a million times,
You keep throwing us behind bars
Like that’d change anything
When all you need to do is look within
To find the monster you’ve looked for—
Yet you burn witches at the stake
For merely being what you are not,
For what you could never be.
Your world is centred around us,
Yet you dare push us aside,
Erasing our names, you write yours;
Thief, you’ve been warned, we shall rise,
No more of your games we can play.
You call us a force of nature,
Give storms and hurricanes our names—
Perhaps you’re threatened at the possibility,
Your reign is at its end, and soon it shall be me
Holding you at the sword’s tip,
Making you walk the razor’s edge,
Waiting for you to trip,
Waiting for you to fall.
You’ve never walked a mile in my shoe,
You’d fall and twist your ankles.
Because from where I stand,
You hold no power over me,
And yet you believe in this fantasy
That we’re somehow beneath you.
Wake up and burn, tied at the stake,
When I hear you screaming in pain,
I’ll only walk away.
Walk away, before it’s too late,
Let us carve our own paths and ways;
We don’t owe you our lives,
Never did, never have, never will—
But to you, we’re only witches at the stake,
But that’s alright.
We’ll only come back stronger,
You never stood a chance anyway.
∼© Shubhangi Srinivasan.