Her heart carries the weight of her pains and problems
but she battles with smiles all difficulties like a heroine.
Because she participates in society, and wants to move ahead,
all accuse her because she is a girl.
Everyone accuses her according to his or her style.
Because she works with men, people say she is a notorious girl.
When she laughs, they say she is stupid.
When she wears a colorful dress,
they say she wants men’s attention.
At all times and situations she must be brave
and she must prove her honesty and simplicity.
No one thinks her long skirt is clean enough to kneel and pray on.
But her scarf is clear as a virgin sky.
No one sees behind her smiling face: the obligations,
prescriptions, difficulties, and violations to innocence.
All accuse her because she is a girl
No one can read her eyes’ secrets.
Her unsaid words will be her eyes’ grave.
All the obstructers look forward to her becoming weak and unable to act.
They look forward to making her infamous
and try to hunt, blemish, and expunge her.
No one asks about her unsaid words,
no one talks about her patience.
Society makes her tired of participating in work activities,
of being in a high position and acting according to her abilities
and job description.
All they want is that she be a symbol, not an active person.
They raise fingers of criticism towards her.
Where can she try on the colorful dresses, and laugh?
She is incurable, runty, and according to others she must be penalized
because she is continuing her life.
She becomes tired from everyday advocacy
and lobbying for her rights. Lots of times she feels incurable.
It is not her mistake, for she has been born a girl.
An Afghan girl.
She can’t laugh, and she can’t cry.
She must be as still as a sculpture without feelings or psyche.
She has a pulsing heart but she must live by others’ style.
She wants to be brave and continue her fight,
open the pathway for children born as a girl,
and show the world she is a girl who lives in Afghanistan.
Photo by Aisha Chowdhry