"Oppression can only survive through silence."
Carmen de Monteflores
I am the unseen voice in your ear – the one
who aspired, more than anything,
from a little kid, to be a teacher...
the invisible one who hid behind a veil...
the one who started a secret school
to learn to read and write; how it felt
to see each other smile – me and five
other girls...ones who, for a while
had hands and minds, and for the first time,
real identities ... until they barged in;
burned our books, locked the door
to my bedroom; then raped me.
The one with child, who never realised
until nearly too late, except a friend did,
and made a herbal remedy, but as I lay
bleeding, she was being beaten...
for walking along the street; her shoes
made too much noise...a new law
just brought in. Tortured, until
she told them everything...and then
I was stoned. Two days ago would’ve
been my sixteenth birthday...the one
they called ‘promiscuous’; the ‘baby’
that bled out of me proved it, they said...
The one does not ask for your prayers
of mourning, or your pity, only that
you listen, to at least twelve million of us;
to the unseen voice in your ear.