Friday, June 10, 2016

Poem For The Women Of The AWWP


The  Invocation

I have become this poem

and before this poem,

I became Arifa, Zarmina, Amail

Sweta. Safar  and Lima --

their tongue, their pen, their leaf,

their scrap of paper

veined in writing,

mottled with tears.


 for the pocket to hide,

the firewood to shun

the wind to carry west.


The Stone

The river is dry.

I steal a stone

from its bed of clay

and will cast it back

when the rains come

or at  him

when he turns mad

moving  to flog my body

as if its slight bones

were a stack of grain


My burqa is torn.

I pull a thread

wanting to unravel

this blue shroud and lift  my hair

in wind, in light

the plumage of a  bird.

A long-tailed bird

hanging loose in the air,

absorbing the ripe scent

of  almonds --


the black gravel beneath

(grave of my sisters)

marked with its shadow.

The house is bare.

I blow out its breath

and unlatch the door.

The lamp sends its snuffed flame

to the sky, a ghost of smoke

but then my hope

with only this stone, this staple,

wanders into exile with it.

I love the concept and the need of writers to give voice to the voiceless. As Alison Hawthorne Deming states --
"The grief we feel at abuses of human power is the first positive step at transforming that power for the good." And art allows us to accomplish that goal in certain ways; especially through the expression and recognition of our humanity; its suffering, its injustice as well as its compassion, strength and dignity. This brought to mind Marsha Hamilton who started the "Afghan Women's Writing Project".

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