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       Volume 11 |Issue 32| August 10, 2012 |


 Inner Voices
 Eid Mubarak
 The Man who would  not Die
 The Cormorant's  Blood
 The Watchers
 Eid Mania
 Untitled Confessions
 If a Sea has Nowhere  to Go
 Ebri Mourning Visit
 Found Poem
 Big Brother

   SWM Home



Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi

  Wooden sculpture by Ferdousi Priyabhashini.

Heroic one.
The name bequeathed you
But you would have to
Be much more than that
In the years to come.

The wrong we did by you
We all knew
What you went through
Never black and white
Fighting through the greys
The multiple ways
You had to.

That official line
Our mothers and sisters
Lost their honour
Rather than the other way around.
Those who found
They got away
With crimes against humanity
While all that remains
Is the shame
Stuck on you
Whatever you do
Can't shrug off
The stain we create.

You survived your fate
To find family won't take you in
Woman of sin
Difficult to find work
Not paid if you do
After all
Why pay
When one can say
She is loose
To discard and use
And abuse.
When the police and military
Came next time round
It was you they offered
What did it matter
If they soiled you some more?

You are no longer
The mother of your son
Who found out
What you had done
Didn't want to hear what
Had been forced on you
Terrified and disgusted.
He, and you, back then.
To bear wounds never to heal.
Which changed your life
And death
As no one gave you
A piece of cotton
To wrap your lifeless body
Though your soul left
40 long years ago.
When you were cornered as you ran
Then it began
Men like giants on you
Till you got used to it
And when you found 'freedom'
In joy and longing
You were reviled
And defiled
By your own.

You are the one
Who dressed up and wore gold
And you sold
your dreams
to the enemy
but your menfolk and homes
were left alone
for the sacrifice of this
unsung dilemma.

You are the one
Who was caught
When ten of them
Found you in the dhan khet
Left you half dead
As you jumped in flowing waters
But found yourself still alive
On the other side
As you were pulled out like a
Fish in a net.
Afterwards not able to say
That your faeces dripped constantly
Till the day when you could
Take your own life.

You are the one
Whose husband shunned you
When you could no longer satisfy him
Of course never yourself
Too scarred inside
And out
Even though your mother in law
Said it was not your fault
And ensured you a home.

You are the one
Whose husband cradled you
After their semen dripped
Down your swollen insides and legs
And loved you till
He was killed by local thugs
Greedy over land
And you were turned out
By his family and left to beg.

You are one of countless
Whose story was never told
And never will
As all records were burnt
And you will never come forward
As your people brutalised you over again.
As your government
Washed its hands
Of you and your sacrifice
And doesn't want to know.
What you went through then.
And still are now.
If you managed to survive.




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