• The Feminist Times

My Very First “No”

I had always remembered,

But now I think I know,

I had said “no”.

I had said “no”.


It was just yesterday,

Not a very long while ago,

When for the first time, I said “no”.

I had said “no”.


You saw mother leave.

You saw my brother too go.

I had said “no”.

I had said “no”.


You found an opportune moment

To pin a child below.

I had said “no”.

I had said “no”.


To kiss a squirming child

Forcibly, like there is no tomorrow,

While she said “no”.

I had said “no”.


Your terrible little touches

Planted like hateful seeds to grow.

I had said “no”.

I had said “no”.


My tongue did not roll the words.

My scrawny fighting arms did though.

They had said “no”.

I had said “no”.


But the mind rationalized the deed.

It, like him, was not slow.

“Perhaps, he hadn’t meant so.”

But I had surely said “no”.

“She is not to remember anything,”

Mind and memory had a row.

But I still remember saying “no”.

I had said “no”.


Mists of time and space,

I have always remembered though-

With every gram of my 17kg body

I had really said “no”.


- Anonymous


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