the weight of womanhood

is invisible
she is a ghost who gets manicures
only to dig her nails into the adam’s apples
of her descendants
I can hear her tsk tsk
in the silence
when I sit with my legs apart
apparently the way my denim jeans
embrace my inner thighs
is an invitation I send
with no intended recipients
no identifying email address
bcc-ed to fully grown
professional strangers
who know better
but fall prey to the scam of
a mass corporate email
to a dinner
where I am the appetizer in some part
and the entire feast in another time zone
I want none of this

A young woman looks at the camera

Kayshini Nilendran

Grade: 11 / Sec. V
Markham District High School
Markham, ON

“Being a teenage girl is both a comparable and contrastable experience. In an age where women are being denied their rights, stripped of their supposed privileges, and punished for their expressions of individuality and defiance, the era of becoming a teenage girl is confusing. I wrote this poem for all women, who have been blamed for wrongdoings they are not responsible for. I wrote this poem as a call for action, for accountability, posed as a letter to those who think they can get away with hurting others. ”


Kayshini Nilendran is a passionate Grade 11 student with a profound love for the performing arts and musical theatre. Equipped with a flair for self-expression and creativity, she finds comfort in spoken word, written poetry, and storytelling based on her experiences as an Eelam Tamil Canadian living in the GTA.

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