A Silenced Voice Cried Out 

dedicated to Peng Shuai

A voice cried out decrying her assault,
Courageously to light the way for truth
Against one high up preying on her youth—
A Vice Premier accused of this grave fault.
Unlocking secrets stored within a vault
That no one else had dared to find or sleuth,
She opened wounds that only she could soothe—
A tennis star that many still exalt.

Once in her tender years some fixed her heart—
Which gave her faith and passion in her game.
Defying odds and rising to the top,
A household name in China, blessed with fame,
World number one in doubles—but this part
They fixed for her now feels more like a prop.



An award-winning and featured American poet published in Vita Brevis Press’ best-selling poetry anthology whose first novel, The Year of the Bear, and publication in Cafe Haiku’s 2021 anthology are forthcoming, 176 of Doug’s poems have been published in 42 publications since 2020 across the U.S., Canada, England, Wales, Austria, India, Mauritius, Australia, Japan and the Caribbean.  His Author’s Website is https://douglaslanzo.com

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6 Responses

  1. Darwin

    I had no idea about this story until your poem prompted me to learn more. Thanks for sharing and very well done.

  2. Jean

    WTA suspended tournaments in China amid concerns for her welfare. Thanks for shedding light on this situation in such a beautiful poem.

  3. Paul Freeman

    Young athletes are vulnerable to this kind of abuse. English football is under the microscope with historical crimes emerging, and we’ve had American gymnastics investigated and found more than wanting. Then there’s the old USSR damaging the health of their athletic youths with steroids.

    It’s an old but recurrent story, with the perpetrators often getting away Scot free or with a slap on the wrist to avoid bad publicity.

    Thanks for highlighting Peng Shuai’s case, Douglas. It’s probably the tip of the iceberg; but in the meantime the important thing is the welfare of this young, Chinese athlete.

  4. Sue F.

    Such deep compassion for freedom in your poetry Doug. Thank you for your advocacy through poetry. Your poem is moving and heartfelt!


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