The Voice of Woman

by Shahida Latif

I am the being, who contains the whole entities,
Of the mother and daughter, the sister and wife,
And includes the alive buried history of mankind.

I am the being, who sacrificed the life full of bliss,
By tasting the flavour of forbidden fruit, fearing least
For the sake of love endangered my whole existence,
And suffered along with the credulous Father of Man.

I am the being, who was slaughtered at the altars,
To quench thirst of the ancients gods and my blood
Mingled the water of Nile to irrigate parched plains;
Sometimes they sipped lukewarm blood of my babes.

I am burnt alive in the fire of piled and heaped wood,
In front of the very sightless eyes of the customs,
After the departure of my life partner to the world next.

I am the being, who was sold in markets like toys,
And sometimes staked by the gambling patrons.
Often my enchanting visage: the centre of beauties,
Is deformed and singed with the burning substance,
Changing into horrible ghost: living sketch of the age.

I am the being, who perfumes beds of the lascivious,
And thousands of times have been beguiled, betrayed
In the name of sweet love: the same old false fiction,
That brings to me on each day a freshened falsehood.
Now they place upon the eyes and then they trample,
Under the feet as petals are squeezed and squashed.
My soul seeks anxiously the answers to the questions,
“By whom I am ravished, and stigmatized by whom? ”

I am the being whose children have been snatched
Since beginning, and thrown into the furnace of wars.
Though I am confined, encaged amid the lofty walls,
Built with the substance of cumbersome stones, yet
I twitter like a clipped, curtailed and confined sparrow.

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