No One Wants to Know
by Shirani Rajapakse
It was only much later,
when the world had gone to sleep and
awoken many times, that they found out.
By then it was far too late.
People had moved on. Old news was of no use,
they yawned as they picked up the papers
delivered that morning to read the news
crisp and new. Someone lost a cat,
someone broke into a home.
No laws were needed for any of that, no urgent
appeals, that could wait.
But she was only five years old.
They are all silent, those people in high places.
They’ve run out of words, catch phrases they
threw out to the women in jest.
Wrong clothes, out in the dark alone
with a strange man. Of course they deserved it,
those stupid women, they said laughing
behind closed doors.
And now they are scratching their balls and
trying to come up with reasons where
reasons never existed for any of this.
But it’s too late.
Too late for her, the little girl.
Too late for her sisters in other places.
Too late for the mothers whose
daughters died a slow painful death.
Too late, too late. But no one cares.
Not theirs to care.
* * * * *
© 2018 Shirani Rajapakse, "No One Wants to Know" is from the award winning collection Chant of a Million Women (2017) by Shirani Rajapakse
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) is a Finalist in 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. 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.