They are used to her tantrums: head flung on the lap
of a supermarket trolley, one lollipop away from submission.
They are, in fact, expecting some form of violent refusal: a bite back
perhaps, or a wail – anticipating the necessity of coercion.
But this time, she is still: unmoving and unwavering.
Tongue imitating the first kick; throat clearing space for pent up
air; mouth growing bigger and rounder and louder, rising in solidarity
with sound, in defiance against silence, reaching completion
in the single syllable protest poem: ‘No’ –
that is to say stop, that is to say enough, that is to say
yes – I am here and I will be heard.
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