‘Break This Conspiracy Of Silence!’ – A poem by Dr Aneka Paul

Categories: Care and People & Places.

The Indian Association of Palliative Care celebrated this year’s World Poetry Day by publishing ‘A symphony of Words: A collection of poems‘ penned by our very own friends from the palliative care community. We continue to share a poem, each week, for our friends to enjoy!

The poem for this week, Poem #2 of 25..


‘Break this conspiracy of Silence!’ by Dr Aneka Paul from Mumbai.

(The perspective of a 15 year-old cancer patient)

Here I am, back again
These four walls closing in on me
Though they are brightly animated
Colours cannot erase the stench of disinfectant
Nor can superheroes save me from my fate.

I was here five years ago
Lived here for two
They poked me with needles endlessly
All the while looking at me with pity
And I lay watching the colourless liquid drip into me.

I was told to visit every year
I always had a good report
Till one day I was told to stay on
I couldn’t understand the hushed whispers
Or my parents retreating to a corner to weep silently.

More doctors and nurses came to my bed
“Experiment” was the only word I could make out
They conferred seriously among themselves
Then walked away shaking their heads
But no one cared to explain anything to a confused me.

I’m beginning to feel worse, and so tired
Gradually they stop visiting in their groups
Mother is the only one who keeps me company
Now I perceive that I shall never leave here
I just wish those around me would break their conspiracy of silence!

About the Poet: Dr Aneka Paul is a Trustee with Golden Butterflies Children’s Palliative Care Foundation and holds a PhD in Social Work. She has been associated with the palliative care sector in India since 2009-10.

To read poems from the entire collection, please click here.

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