If I were not a woman
the day I was born
Mom wouldn’t have suffered.
Dad wouldn’t have warned
her: You’ve brought shame
to the house!

If I were not a woman
I could have played outside
with other kids.
I could have gone to my favorite school.
Mom couldn’t have prevented
me, saying: School is far.

If I were not a woman
I could wear the light colors I love
and drive the car of my wishes.
I could marry my girlfriend
and Dad would support me,
love not a fault for him.

If I were not a woman but a man,
I could be a coward,
ignorant,
irresponsible,
rude.
Worthy because I was a man,
son of my father and proud,
the pride of my family.
I would have the world of luck
in my foolish pockets.

If I were not a woman
I would never be a hurt,
never be ashamed.

Roya

photo by Lynsey Addario