The Seven Vows

First Vow
My mind was an area of conflict
In an entire decade of marriage
All he offered me was a land –
Mud-cracked, parched;
Full of wild weeds with life-splitting thorns
Everything I did was a question
With open ended arguments
Conclusion-less thesis

It broke me a bit

Second Vow
The noise grew in silence
And the silence settled comfortably
In my chest
Like a withered flower
He never raised his hand
But his pitch hit the threshold of my ears
My heart raced like a new lover
And the tears flowed like unlocked rivers

It broke me a bit more

Third Vow
I cried too much for everything
Mom said I always inclined towards sadness
Like a mango tree in April
With a womb full of fruits
Almost bent to kiss the earth
But how can sadness be a longing?
I too dreamt of starry nights, candle-lit dinners
And a I-can’t- live-without- utexts
Once in a while

It broke me as always

Fourth Vow
Then when I gave up on talking
Packed my expectations and threw them from the fifth floor
Burnt the smiles while the chimney
Sucked away the leftover energy

You named it an ailment

Fifth Vow
People said I was incapable of loving my daughter anymore
That I always sought solitude
But who knew of my howling heart
While you hurled at me your screams, yells
That was thrown as easy as a dart
But settled like greasy dust
Who knew of the ridicule that you gifted me
At every anniversary
Of the reminders of my incapability
To please you that you posted so frequently
As telegrams of distress

Sixth Vow
You chuckled while I struggled to find myself
You failed to see the minutes, the hours and the days
When I tried to fight back the lurking shadows
In my living room
Fight them hard until they wounded me enough
To surrender

Seventh Vow
Now I am too broken to be fixed
The demons have me by my head
They slay me in bits, nerve by nerve
I spot them in colours, in skies, in eyes, in butterflies
I guess this weariness isn’t a guest anymore
Or is it another act of permanence
Of beloved hallucination

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Poornima Laxmeshwar

Poornima is a Freelance content writer, Academic and Research writer and Proofreader based in Bangalore.

She has written this poem to speak of the verbal abuse, so common in many marriages, that can often lead to mental health issues.