Call From Within

This poem by Yehudis Fletcher calls to attention Religious leaders who turn a blind eye to the suffering which many women go through, bringing to life the indignation and frustration she felt.

"I wrote this piece after many months of trying to bring our establishment's attention to the levels of systemic abuse in our community. I find that many people still don't believe it is true."

This is a call from within

Can you hear me

Can you hear me

Or am I dreaming

I’m not sure that you’re really there

Because if you were

In front of me

Speaking for me

And to me

Surely you wouldn’t see through me

Surely you’d stop and listen

To a woman telling the truth

This truth

It’s meant to set me free

It’s meant to speak for me

Not you

You don’t speak for me

Because how can you

When you can’t hear me?

This truth

About how from when I was born

I was taught to keep myself folded up

I was held and shoved and moulded and scolded

And pushed through a space so small

A space you insist is safe

And cosy

And traditional

And whole

Sure, it’s whole

So whole

So whole that when I wanted to break out of it I had to break so much I had to break myself

Do you hear that? I had to break myself I had to take myself and break myself and destroy myself So that I’d fit Through the cracks That I made

So that I could break free

And then I staggered through

The space I made Drunk on freedom Lurching forward Well done, you say, You clap But you don’t hear my truth.

I’m on my knees now. Not because I’m begging But because I can’t stand anymore.

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