Response to a Man by Shirani Rajapakse
You can’t mold me into
something you want—those
rough hands trying to create
dreams that can only shatter.
You are no sculptor and cannot shape
perfection from mud nor
chisel beauty out of a slab of granite.
I am flesh and blood
just like you.
Not made of clay or rubber that
bends at your will.
Don’t even try to change me
for you will not like the person
I might become in your hands.
Leave me as I am and let me
mold myself as I have done all this while.
I am an individual, a human.
Not a doll made of plastic
or wood that you take out to play
when it pleases you.
Shirani Rajapakse is an internationally published, award winning poet and short story writer. She won the Cha “Betrayal” Poetry Contest 2013 and was a finalist in the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards 2013. Her collection of short stories Breaking News (Vijitha Yapa 2011) was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award. Her critically acclaimed poetry collection Chant of a Million Women (self published 2017) won the 2018 Kindle Book Awards. It received an Honorable Mention in the 2018 Readers’ Favorite Awards and was chosen as an “Official Selection” in the 2018 New Apple Summer eBook Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing. Her recently published short story collection I Exist. Therefore I Am is also about women and is set in India. Rajapakse’s work appears in many literary journals and anthologies around the world. Rajapakse read for a BA in English Literature from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and has a MA in International Relations from JNU, India.