The world was different, but now is lost
Once no tongues needed to be held back
Books, pencil, paper were used
Voices echoed, laughter filled our mouths
Money was earned
Through the hard toils of the earth
No cloth defined me
No person fined me
For being myself
But as all good things come to an end
I too became a sin.
Here in Afghanistan in 1980,
Young girls are voiceless commodities, doomed to a life in poverty
Begging on the street to make ends meet,
Because a man from the soviet union saw the opportunity to make a “land grab”.
Yes it’s the men that fight the war,
But It’s the women who must face the consequences raising up a child who senses,
That something isn’t right,
that the booming sounds coming from outside aren’t fireworks at all
they’re explosions leaving the village next door in a state of carnage.
Here in Afghanistan, women belong either to their house
Or their grave.
War doesn’t just deny them the right to work, education, security,
basic human liberties, human dignity.
Because “every price has its tax…and this is war, and there is no shame in war”.
Scared to go outside, she can’t even see the sunlight.
Her body concealed like a weapon, swaddled tight as a burrito
She has no voice; even as her screams fall on the deaf ears
Mama mama, why didn’t you tell me?Can’t you see this life isn’t fit for a girl?
This isn’t a life at all.
Her husband is rich; he gave her a pair of shiny black eyes;
Soft silk dresses to hide her broken bones behind,
Glittering diamonds to speak for her.
What a nice life she has, so rich.
Manicures, haircuts, makeovers all for her.
She could never tell him she hated the way MAC felt on her skin,
The lipstick glued her mouth shut.
Happy couple, devoted wife.
Their son is just like him, daughter just like her. What a good girl!
Good girl, obedient girl; listens to her parents.
Obedience and fear from the palm of his hand.
What benefits does the Taliban offer, free healthcare? Insurance?
Insurance of fear.
What next, when release comes from more violence;
Fine. Enter the land that is supposed to
Be their home. Come. Enter, United States;
9/11. Islamic extremists
Thank you Nato for heroically
Swooping in and providing foreign peace-
Keepers, marking the start of war on the
Thank you America, Home of the Free,
For sending your own troops to support and
Bolster the Afghan army overseas.
Thank you Nato for taking control of
Security in Kabul. For finally
Stepping out of your own comfort zone in
Europe for the first time. We realize
You risk everything. We do realize.
But what took you so long? Somewhere in
Afghanistan, as girls have waited, they’ve
Been banned from a life. Their lives are not some
Controversial book. Their lives are not a
“Kinder Egg” that the FDA can place
A halt of production on because it
Could be hazardous. Their lives are not a
Merriam-Webster 10th edition, that
Some mother in America had banned
Due to the possibility that a
Child might read the true definition of
God forbid that she was educated.
And that’s precisely how the girls had lived.
Banned from innocence. Banned from movies, Banned
From dancing and music. Banned from clapping
At sports events, banned from flying a kite.
All common expectancies in America in 2017.
Happy New Year.
Where were you in the early 2000s?
They’ve been sitting there, waiting.
Oppressing their glorious possibilities
Into much less than what they could be.
Here in Afghanistan, in 2010,
International leaders gathered and
Entangled this broken nation into
Every newspaper and channel worldwide,
Fueling hatred toward and pity for the
Women who choose to cover themselves in-
stead of the men who demand they do so.
Despite incentive to lay down their arms,
The Taliban insist on frightening
Their beliefs into people, and dragging
The very women who birthed those arms
Here in Afghanistan, in 2010,
President Obama boosted the troops
By 30,000, 100,000
New terrors parading the streets, shaming
Assaulting, raping, pitying, changing
Nothing. Changing absolutely nothing.
Here in Afghanistan, one year later,
72 percent of women see
Their lives as better than 10 years ago,
But even that was just 10 years ago.
Now, 86 percent fear a return
Of the taliban, the captors and the
Killers who saw nothing but their gender,
And thought they should pay for it with their lives.
The World Health Organisation says that
35 percent of women worldwide
Experience physical abuse or
Sexual violence in their entire lives.
Here in Afghanistan, 2014,
A new law will protect the men who rape,
Beat, attack, mark, decimate, ruin, and
Berate their wives, daughters, and strangers who
Can no longer count on their home country
to protect them, testifying in court
Is now illegal, as is basically
Because we must control what the people say, and how they think
And if they want to become the overseer of their own selves, then we'll show them a real one
And somewhere in Afghanistan, there's a child sitting in her mother's lap, cowering at the news of the Taliban’s last attack, and that's open to the public
But that child will never have read "To Kill a Mockingbird" because the school has banned her for the way she was born.
You never told us what we weren't allowed to say
We just learned how to hold our tongues.