cooped up in van

Burqa kept me in the dark
Burqa kept me in prison
And behind a man-made window
It stopped me from watching the sun
And it hid my pouts and smiles
It made me fear what I want to see
Burqa is a man-made window
A fence between me and my dreams
But I know how to use burqa

Burqa is a grin that I should keep private
A sign of respect the women deserve
It hides my beauty from those who eye me
Burqa is a strong woman’s weapon
I use its small openings to glimpse vast realities
And employ its injustice in my struggle for justice
I show it to those who force me to wear it
And use it to test my patience for injustice

I am the same,
with or without burqa.

By Asma

Photo: J. McDowell