woman and man

Why do you walk two steps ahead of me?
I am more powerful than you.
Do you know why?

Because I have been suffering for centuries.
I am the patient stone against all your cruelty.
When you shout I say nothing.
When you beat me, I keep silent.
You burn my face, you cut my ears,
You rape me and stone me!

Still I keep quiet. . . .
Do you know why? Because I am strong!
You exercise your physical power over me
Because you have no power of logic.
My calm is not my weakness—
It is the silence of the ocean.

With all my patience I call on you,
I call on you now:
Stop abusing me, stop violating my rights!
Once I revolt,
You will face your real rival.
Be aware of my power. Be afraid of my anger.

By Shafiqa

Photo by Christopher Harper