Silhouette of a woman's side profile
Mental Health

Hers Was a Balding, Middle Aged Homeopathic Doctor

Country of Origin: Hong Kong

and when she told her mother of the “incident”

she was told never to speak of it again.

Silence served as protection. It served

as a convenient denial and an acceptability

of these dirty men are everywhere.

Hers was a sack of body odour she never bothered to

turn around and see, even as he pressed himself

against the back of her thigh, even as she felt him grow

against her, even as she tried to make space in a crowded

local bus filled with people; I was too scared to say something she said.

Hers, lived with them, cared for them,

cooked and cleaned for them, and some nights

he took to servicing himself instead.

I don’t like it when my parents go out at night, the eight-year-old would say,

still feeling his hands in places they should never have been.

Hers happened at markets, in shops, out walking

ignoring a whistle or two, a snide remark till

courage would find his feet, and he would

encroach upon the space she called her own.

I wish I didn’t have boobs; she cried to her friends.

Hers was a doctor, an uncle, the neighbour’s son

home for the holidays with nothing much to do.

The delivery man, her math tutor, the building lift man,

the driver, the electrician her family had used for over

fifteen years, the family priest and that first boy she liked in school.

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Shikha S. Lamba is a jewelry designer and poet living in Hong Kong. She is also the co-editor of an online magazine, Coffee and Conversations. In love with all things creative, she has contributed poetry and articles for various publications in Hong Kong, the US and India over the years. Passionate about raising awareness about women’s health and mental health issues through her writing, Shikha’s poems often touch on themes of feminism and social injustice. She admittedly lives a big portion of her life online and can be found on most social media sites for her writing, jewelry and magazine.

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