girl with red headscarf

People say she is nothing
without her family,
can do nothing by herself

Because she is Daughter
people say she should have been born
Son, that the father is angry
and look away if he turns brutal against her

Because she is Daughter-in-law
people say she is guilty
when she doesn’t bring expensive
goods from her father’s house,
when she doesn’t give birth to sons

Because she is Wife
people say she is enemy
and must bear
the husband’s beatings

Because she is Mother
people say her daughter
will endure the circle
of pain again, that she is weak,
needing the help of a man

She wishes her daughter blessed
with sons, respect,
and love of family

She knows
her daughter’s daughter will live
the same story, just as women
before her have suffered
because they are women

Because she is Woman
people tell this story.

By Maryam A.