The road is full of dust
The sky is full of smoke
I am sitting in the cold soil
Covered with my burqa
If I am young, or old
You can’t read my face
You don’t see my worries
You can’t see in my eyes
I am requesting help, help, help
Behind me is a destroyed palace
Full of holes and scars, like my heart
I am counting people’s feet
They cross in front of me
Today nobody helped me
But a child rode with his father
On a bike, and as they crossed I heard
The little boy say, “I wish I had money.”
They both went quickly
Maybe to their home.
Photo by Tony Di Zinno
Dear N, thank you so much for sharing this poem with us. The ending is so powerful–even though the woman’s situation is dire, she does not sound angry–the father and son noticed her, even under her burqa. Their thought to help seems to make a difference, if only for the moment.
I will be so happy if only I could write beautiful poem like this one in english…
This is a beautiful and powerful poem. I love the shifts in it, from the description of the landscape to not being known or seen under the burqa, to your quiet suffering, to people walking by ignoring you, to the boy who wants to help. You really reach out to the hearts of others. I wish I could do something to help you in your life situation. For now, please accept my enjoyment of your poem as what I can offer you.
I want everyone to read this poem! Brava for giving voice to the woman behind the blue veil, the woman who is so unprotected by her family, by society, that she must beg in this way.
So many strong images in this short poem. Those counting of feet. The holes in the wall, the heart. And the “maybe” of the home. And the goodness in that boy’s heart, for he has not been hardened. He is the hope. Thank you for this hope and for this powerful poem.
This is such a moving poem. I don’t have words. Thank you for writing. I hope you write more.