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In the light of the recent focus on ‘others’ and ‘outsiders’ in the US, this poem explores the feelings of a woman who chooses to wear the hijab (headscarf).
through a nation’s glare
a hijab unknots in fickle air
running behind cascading pride
outstretched hands fall inches short
as she takes a dive for the silken cloth
paisleys bunch up in graceful folds
gliding fluidly to meet the dust
trembling fingers reach out again to briskly cover the exposed bust
veil of deceit, that filthy rag
a nettlesome itch, a bramble in the eye
the fashion is un-american, they hotly chastise
take it off, let loose that hair
put your patriotism out on garish display
cause this ain’t land for traitors who kneel five times a day
they ask her to dismember a limb
to discard an identity she’s held since nine
her armour, her honour – politically embroiled; she’s shown dresses with rising hemlines
the country is theirs; her days are numbered
dreaded diktat arrives to prove the point
how do you separate body and soul when the two breathe conjoint?
she picks up knickknacks of her life
bottles up feelings, memories in a bag
watching agog the parade of eviction grand marshal flies the freedom flag
wet shame rolls down her cheeks
the dam of restraint finds an unbridled release
spare me, my sisters, she meekly pleads; i shall do as you say… as you please
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Top image via Pixabay
Yogyata is the creator, nurturer and Chief Operating Officer of a family of four in
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