She written by Karem Barratt at



written by: Karem Barratt



I am she,

Who screamed at the night,

Demanding justice for her blood,

Spilled by a knife,

Legs held by the mothers who

Were supposed to love her.

I am she,

Who held her baby tight,

As the bombs tore her world,

Walls falling down, her child

Of light, now the colour of earth.

I am she,

Looking at the boys passing by

On their way to school, laughter

And jokes echoing against her hut,

As she stays, alone, knowing she has been

Left, behind.

I am she.

Crying in the corner, silently,

The shadow of his fingers still

Hanging around her arms, she

Trying to drink her tears, telling

Herself lies, for no one would

Believe her.

I am she.

Alone, unfed, hurt, turned

Into a shade, heavy with burdens

Beyond my age. I am she, seeing

My young face reflected on the eyes

Of those who shriek a name, that is

Supposed to be mine, a name of colour

And religion and place.

I am she, licked by shameless sights,

Riding my body with slimy thoughts

As I sit on the train, just wanting to go home.

I am she, walking fast,

Afraid of lonely streets and half lit parks.

I am she, acting like a man, for

My femininity is a hindrance to my brain.

I am she, full of rage, betrayed,

By blood and kin. I am she. Hiding,

Escaping, fighting, defending, the bitch

Who dared to think, speak, hold a

Governmental seat. I am she, the cunt,

Valued and reduced by the V of

Flesh between my legs. I am she, the

ass and the breasts, the enforced virgin

And saint, the named whore, the menacing

Danger to the future of

Underprivileged boys, the demeanor

I am, the one who forgot her role,

The broker of family and societies,

The bringer of the ills that have

Waned the greatness they

Once had, for daring to ask

For a little more.


I am Oliver Twist

Trapped forever in Nancy’s hide,

And it is okay that I die,

Twice a week, in the hands

Of my man.

It is fine that my purse is

Lighter, that I am punished

For daring to bloom

Into motherhood. Everything

Is alright, if I am shot

For wanting to go to school.

It is acceptable that I am

Attacked online for

Expressing my mind.

I must expect threats

Of death and rape,

It comes with the game

Where I am to blame,

For my own subjugation,

For glass ceilings and

Violent bonds. After all,

I did wear the pink dress.

Painted my lips with gloss.

Drank a drink too much.

Defied tradition by loving

The wrong boy,

Spoke too soon, too fast, always

Rising my hand in class.

Believed the fairy tale

That human rights applied to me.

For I am she.

The mother, the sister,

The daughter, the friend.

The woman at the end of the lane,

Of the queue of causes that need

To be fought.

And I am irrational and selfish,

For not waiting for the proper time.

Ungrateful wench, showing no gratitude

For how far she is from where she came.

For I must lower my flame,

Not to blind the stars.

Be more like the firefly,

Humble and small.


But I want more.


I am she, all the “she’s”, all the breasts

And wombs and legs and tongues and

Eyes and intellects and hands and feet

Of the She of the world.


And I am brewing a storm.

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