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Thanks SoulCraft for introducing me to this form:

Elite Must Guard Secrets

She’s the lady on the wall,
She smiles furtively, a broken jaw
Probably bashed at night
Oh no! She whimpers through swollen lips
Don’t use harsh language!
Domestic violence? It happens in the shanty huts!
Elite and blue blooded guard secrets, they must.

She’ll stay on the oil canvas for generations
Admired by newly wed brides for her poise
A shimmering silk hides bruises
And the golden necklace, covers bestial bites
Its sparkle reaches her dull weary eyes.
She must continue to wear a mask
Sport joy, a puzzling smile indeciphered,
Uncoded by psychologists, and so in her elitist bubble she remains.
Elite and blue blooded guard secrets, they must.

Daughter’s daughters examine her jaw, touched up with paint
A botoxed grandmother they wonder,
Modern, yet , hinting at sinisterly alarming acts.
That only a touch of make up can cover.
Her silence threatens to fill their breasts
Shatter their bones with a violence of its own.
Yet, they know elite and blue blooded guard secrets, they must.

From afar in the royal kitchen silently she stared at the frame
As she sucked her thumb, her eyes looked askance
At her mother’s tatters, they could barely hide.
Savibai’s bruises bled until black, not a day passed in the quarters
Without her drunken father’s disgusting words and slaps,
All women shared this cloak of shame and blame
And, they knew! Women, whether elite, or otherwise, guard secrets, they must!

© Mumtaz N Khorakiwala
26-10- 2021

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