No Voice


Imagine you have a desire to speak
rapidly swelling in your heart,
words hanging on your tongue,
then rushing the backs of your lips
like soldiers charging an enemy’s gate,
eager, desperate to be released.
All you want is to finally be heard,
but no matter the importance to you,
your voice is refused; you cannot say a word.
The ever-present despair in your eyes,
is weighted deep in generations of hearts,
and remains hidden, beneath your hijab,
for you are not to be exposed, noticed.
You must remain sheltered, concealed-
a Helen Keller: deaf, blind, dumb and mute.
Your lips forever sealed, voice silent
for who would hear you anyway?
You were not made to be heard here
in a country where news is blocked.
Where a man enforces the laws
he claims your religion has made
and you must adhere, believe
that what he says is what is real.
And you are no one to contest his claims
for you are socially inadequate,
not qualified for an education,
destined for unfortunate ignorance,
saddled into a lifestyle of fear.
You become the servant of man,
over and over again- as a child, as a teen,
as a woman of your country and religion.
But as a wife- you are his marriage toy
with whom you will share a name- his,
which might be disbursed about the land
for he takes the hand of several,
but you are to remain exclusive to him.
And if you should ever speak out of turn
or against a fellow country-man,
rest assured you will be punished,
maybe, most likely, imprisoned,
regardless of who is really to blame.
Your very existence seems to be a crime,
you are illegal in your own skin.
You have no idea of the freedom due
what the outside world yearns to offer,
what it has access to, what it views-
the pain on your face, in your eyes
in the words that you cannot express.
Yes, the world hears your silent cries
feels your suffering, despises the lies
your country has forced down your throat-
and is tired of watching your rights be denied.
It is time, ladies, to unite, defy, rectify!
and bring hope to every woman and child
who resides in fear and ignorance-
not by choice for never were they
allowed to decide how to live it
but one should never be a victim of life.

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