The moon split in half – unequal, lopsided
hides behind unseasonal clouds
half-hidden, clearly visible
as I take one step after another on my evening walk.
“Why do we need feminism?” a question I’d read recently
follows me down the quiet road.
The road swallows up my steps, but spits out the question like a pit.
I stare at the pit, ignore it, walk past it.
It’s not for me.
I’m a feminist already.
For a week, the pit has not moved. It’s been ignored by all who pass it by.
Perhaps, my neighborhood has turned
feminist under the gaze
of this lopsided moon, growing almost full.
The pit has grown in size. It’s gotten so big that no matter how far down the road I walk, I can see it staring right back at me.
“Why do we need feminism?”
Why me? I holler quietly behind the mask that covers my mouth and nose.
Go –- taunt and trouble the ones who are still asleep.
I’m sorted. Everywhere--
at home, in public, in my writings, my poetry.
I’m a fully functional feminist. Full stop.
Go find another who’ll care for you.
I know the ropes. I’ve climbed out. I’m free.
Another week passes.
Our hired household help leaves.
My husband and I divvy up our daily chores equally.
He washes his dish, his mug, makes his side of the bed
I find no time to write poetry.
Or go on evening walks.
The pit has engulfed the city, even the moon.
Arti Jain is the author of And All the Seasons In Between, a childhood memoir. Her poems and short stories have appeared in two anthologies: The Kali Project and Tea with a Drop of Honey. Kindle India Magazine carried her short story Jamun Tree. Arti performs her spoken word pieces regularly on Mirchi Mehfil, a popular Indian poetry platform. She lives in Doha with her husband and half a dozen trees. She writes at https://artismoments.blogspot.com. Instagram: @arti.a.jain