Where Am I?

women walking in kabul

I am looking to find myself in all the crowded streets.
Where am I?
Am I in the street of love, of education?
Or am I in a street of hate?
In the street of punishment for being a woman?
Am I falling in the street of failure, where
Even my smallest wish cannot become true?

I am in a street where I have to wear blue,
A burqa—I have been told that I am a Muslim—
I must get married at 13, because, elders say,
Muslim girls must be married very soon.

Where am I?
I am in the street of violence
Because I am a woman living in Afghanistan.

I want to find my reality, but where I can find it?
Everywhere, I feel insulated by others,
Even in the street of progress,
Where my country’s women fight to vote—
I do not want to vote because my government
Is not truthful with me and other women.

So why should I go and vote for nothing?
When my vote will not count
Where I am?

By Seeta

Photo: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images


  1. Such a thought-provoking poem, Seeta. I can see the girl, the speaker, so clearly. To not even have the smallest wish come true… the oppression is so strong…the chains may be invisible but they are heavy and the reader can feel them. And what you write about voting is profound. I hope very much that there will be candidates worthy of your trust and your vote. Thank you for sharing all of this with us, Seeta. Stacy

  2. Seeta, this is a stark piece to be sure. You write well and you write in such a way that a reader cannot help but ask themselves hard questions. Excellent job.

  3. Nancy Antle says:

    Seeta — This is powerful work with a strong voice that speaks for the women in your country. The line: “In the street of punishment for being a woman?” is a hard reality that illustrates completely why the speaker of this poem feels so lost and hopeless. Like Stacy, I too, hope that there are candidates that surface that want to help women and can be trusted. Thank you for writing this beautiful, difficult poem. Nancy

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