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The Hijab And The Freedom Flag [#Poem]

Posted: February 11, 2017

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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).

modesty ripped

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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