Spoken Word Poem: Shadow’s Silent Screams

Spoken Word Poem: Shadow’s Silent Screams 

This other day I saw an old shadow dancing on the shabby walls of its prison 

I glanced at the shadow as its chapped and cracked lips kissed the walls with its gracious smile 

A smile that illuminated the darkest corners of the room

Sending waves and rays that crept through my skin 

Radiating the love and care I would only find in a broken soul

At that moment, I felt my whole body slumping, losing its stiff posture

I was free

But that’s the emblematic thing about this shadow

She has found a way to shield the cold shivers with a sheath of her warm smile

Setting everyone free from their yoke while she remains a slave in her bitter-sweet tragedy


I fixed my intent gaze on the shadow, and there it was

The pain and no gain

Plain as day

Written all over its wrinkled body and swollen face

Beneath her warm smile is a deep well of misery

A voice wanting to be heard

A heart that’s marked with scary scars from the pangs of despised love

A heart that is hurting from the hate she has suffered

The rejection and dejection

So she shies away from the loud and proud crowds

And hides in the dark shadows of her backyard

But it’s been there in her eyes all this while 

She has been bleeding from within 


Just that I didn’t see, you didn’t see; we didn’t see 

We didn’t hear her silent wails when she lost her mother as a toddler 

Neither did we console the bereaved girl when she was trying so hard to surmount the seemingly insurmountable grief

We ignored her groans when she was left behind bars while others were blessed and graced with the keys to success 

We didn’t bother the sprinkle and trickle of her tears

We turned a blind eye when she was married off to a man older than her father

“Lucky her!” Society claims 

For God’s sake, she was only thirteen 

Do you even wonder how she is doing now? 

No, you don’t!

Because if had you taken the audacity to ask her

She would unveil her masked ructions 

If you had cared to wear her shoes or bear her cross, even just for a moment

Then you would discover what’s undercover her warm smile


But you were too busy walking robotically through your routines

Too busy to notice that half of her face is swollen

Not that she had an allergy as she claims

These are marks of a beast’s fist feasting on her body once a week, twice on Sunday, thrice when he is drunk, four times 

when he is guilty of something

She did try to soften his heart of stone by being a “wifey material”

Only to receive an endless crippling affliction to her weary flesh as a reward for being decent and docile


That one time she found a tune to her own voice she came crumbling, shouting for help

Only to find you mumbling that “it’s within their nature!”

But you were the uncle that she trusted

And you left her to stumble in her troubles


So she has found a way to conceal all the raucous inside herself 

Right now she’s standing on a mountain of despair

Perplexed, persecuted, struck down but not crushed

She is clinging and grasping to a stone of hope

But her hands are bleeding from the sharp blades of the stone of hope

She is losing her grip slowly 

And if she falls

Her blood is on your hands 

Killing or letting die

All the same

We are all murderers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                By Daisy Kudzai Tsenesa