posted september 7, 2016
I will not break
I sprouted from the blood of Rabia.*
Even if they cut my stems and leaves a hundred times
I still rise up and blossom.
I am from love.
When I write about love
They silence me, break my head and cut off my hands.
They confine me between four walls and a dark ceiling,
But I still write my pain
With the last drops of my blood.
Under repression and torture,
I write as Rabia did
With the last drops of her blood
On silent walls and rocks.
Her blood still screams through the cement.
I am from Rabia’s blood.
I am the same powerful Afghan woman
Who fights and refuses to give up.
The world has seen what I have to offer.
Alas, I am hidden behind a burqa,
Behind tall walls.
Because of honor,
I can’t free my face from this prison
To take a breath of fresh air.
I am from the burning drops of blood,
I soar despite being knocked down by their ego,
Despite the damage to my soul.
I am from words:
Words of power, struggle and love.
Weak minds may call me weak
Frail thoughts may humiliate me
But I will neither break nor remain in captivity.
I am from Malalai who raised the flag of freedom**
And carved the power of being a woman in history books.
My headscarf is the flag of my nation,
Red like Rabia’s blood,
Black like Nadiaa’s death,***
Green like Malalai’s martyrdom.
*Rabia: First recorded poetess in Afghanistan region. She was killed by her brother for falling in love with a slave and writing poetry. She died while writing poetry on the walls of the bathhouse she was confined to using her own blood.
**Malalai: A legendary Afghan women who is believed to have joined Afghan soldiers fighting off British colonizers. She is a folkloric hero who urged her fiancé to fight for freedom and lost him in the war.
***Nadiaa Anjuman: An Afghan poetess killed by her husband for writing poetry in 2005.
Image: Rabia Balkhi’s shrine in Balkh, Afghanistan.