Controversial Reflection: Women’s Rights



No one remembers Yasmin, she only exists as dust on the wind,

When she was born her parents mourned, her gender was wrong,

Imprisoned with her black clad mother in the darkness of purdah,

She watched through sad eyes as her brothers played and learnt.


Her birthdays were not celebrated, she cleaned, prepared meals,

But was fed little on the floor set apart from father and her brothers,

Her eyes filled with tears when she heard the cattle’s awful shrieking,

Bled coldly in the fields, suffering as much as any man in anguish.


In the solace of her room she prayed knowing God was compassionate,

Sensing his sadness at the misery of war and callous degradation,

Begging to be released from her lonely, dungeon and father’s scorn,

Saddened when banned from worship due to her filthy monthly blood.


As her early womanhood developed she was enshrouded by the veil,

Shielded from nature’s glorious life giving sun by her bedraggled crypt,

In the company of her family she was permitted to remove the sack,

Wearing dazzling colors she noticed her eldest sibling’s evil glare.


The sandstorm’s lifted with eerie howling on a particularly grim night,

Her restless sleep disturbed by the silence of her father’s marked absence,

Creeping, sinful drunken pacing echoed and the rusty door handle creaked,

There in the shadows her kin person entered both the room and the girl.


Aching and bleeding she sobbed, betrayed by her brother’s ungodly lust,

Her cries summoned her mother and there in the gloom she confided,

Such confession, realized her parents, would bring shame on their family,

God could forgive the son, but not the daughter’s shameless adultery.


Her fornication would not be discussed, but washed into the swampy gutter,

The news forgotten as he went away, pride and joy in their hearts, to college,

But not for her as her belly swelled with the wickedness of her immorality,

And local mouths moved against her upright, upstanding, respectable clan.


Moved by night to a filth laden wing the disgraceful prodigy ripped her apart,

Returned by morning, bleeding like the cattle, she was shunned and slighted,

The deafening silence forewarned community displeasure at her reappearance,

Scandal, they said, should be buried like her paperless, unwelcome birth.


The father, known as a man predisposed to faithful, flawless, faultless action,

Tore her from her convalescence with insensitive, wrathful hands by her soft hair,

She was dragged, screaming into the dusty yard filled with the stench of manure,

And there dowsed with a spirit that masked the scent and an excruciating flame lit.


Treated with less compassion than the herd she melted to her origin; Earth and ash,

No record of her sad existence exists, no one investigated her disappearance,

Her name is not Yasmin, never was, her life was an atom flicking briefly,

One of many Yasmins plagued in life, afflicted in death, open your blind eyes and never forget!




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