Woman of the House

by Shirani Rajapakse

The expectations off the woman of a house are many, the foremost being obedience without questioning. Shirani Rajapakse captures this in a poem.

His voice lifted her. She was
caught in the light of his eyes. His words
guided her on her way.
He moved his lips and her arms rose
to obey. She picked up the load
silently groaning at the weight. Too heavy
for a frail body like hers already
battered like an old ship in a stormy sea.

He told her it was so and she
did as he bid. He left her to her chores to
indulge in more important things. Later
in the evening he returned
to inspect and smiled
at her effort. She moved back into her shell.
Her day was done but rest was still
far away. The clock hadn’t
struck the hour. Her silent groans
unheard, swallowed,
hard and dry like old chapatti.

Shirani Rajapakse is a Sri Lankan poet and author. She won the Cha “Betrayal” Poetry Contest 2013. Her collection of short stories, Breaking News (VijithaYapa 2011) was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award. Shirani’s work appears in Cyclamens & Swords, Channels, Linnet’s Wings, Spark, Berfrois, Counterpunch, Earthen Lamp Journal, Asian Cha, Dove Tales, Buddhist Poetry Review, About Place Journal, Skylight 47, The Smoking Poet, New Verse News, The Occupy Poetry Project and anthologies, Short & Sweet – an anthology of Sri Lankan Hint Fiction (forthcoming 2014), Music Anthology (forthcoming2014), Poems for Freedom, Voices Israel Poetry Anthology 2012, Song of Sahel, Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology, World Healing World Peace and Every Child Is Entitled to Innocence. She blogs rather infrequently at

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