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