Muffled

Eight year old Myra
Was an extraordinary girl;
She’d recite all the alphabets
While giving her hair a twirl.

But, Eight year old Myra
Was quite naughty as well;
She’d go door to door, and run
After pressing on the bell.

Yet, Eight year old Myra
Was loved by one and all,
Even grumpy old Kumar,
Who’s still got our ball.

For Eight year old Myra
Was smiling all the time,
Her chubby cheeks were always pink
With a gentle smile sublime.

Now, Eight year old Myra
Was once invited upstairs,
By the kindly old landlord,
Nearing the end of his affairs.

So, Eight year old Myra
Was happy as could be,
To go and hear a tale or two
Reigning atop his knee.

Indeed, Eight year old Myra
Was not disappointed,
As he told her many a story
And her head with sleep anointed.

Grandfather, Grandfather
That’s enough for today, please;
Now hold me in your loving arms
And let me sleep in peace.

Grandfather, Grandfather
What are you tickling me for?
You’re barely being gentle,
It’s not as fun as before.

Grandfather, Grandfather,
I no longer feel at ease,
Grandfather, Grandfather,
Don’t touch me there please,
Grandfather, Grandfather,
Can’t you see my troubled brow?
Grandfather, Grandfather,
You’re scaring me now.
Grandfather, Grandfather,
Where’s your love and care,
Grandfather, Grandfather,
Please don’t touch me there.
Grandfather, Grandfather,
Your eyes have lost their gleam,
Grandfather, Grandfather,
Stop or I will screa-

A hand over her mouth,
A slap across her cheek,
Made sure she couldn’t make a sound
Save the occasional, painful squeak.

An evil mind,
A leering smile,
A hand that did
Her soul defile.

And her eyes pleaded for help, but in vain,
As she flailed and tussled,
For they fell upon a soulless pair,
As her voice lay muffled.

Eight year old Myra
Wasn’t smiling anymore
As she fled, limping and crying,
Out of her Hell’s door.

Yet, Eight year old Myra
Was still brave enough
To confess to her parents
Of the old man’s bluff.

Ashamed, perhaps,
Or perhaps fearing his tenants,
The old man climbed down
And apologised to the parents.

A simple apology
For all the pain she endured,
A simple apology
For her trust that couldn’t be cured.
A simple apology
That stabbed her like a knife,
A simple apology
For scarring her life.

But Myra’s parents decided,
After some debate,
To accept the apology
And make peace with her fate.

For the sake of her name-
For the sake of theirs too,
For the sake of their honour-
For the sake of hers too.

And Eight year old Myra
Like millions before
Had her loved ones ensure her voice
Lay muffled forevermore.