For all the girls who suffer violence
I wish you could be free of the cage and
come beside your other sisters
sitting in a school chair,
hugging your books,
rather than your baby.
I wish you could wear your school clothes,
rather than a wedding dress,
laugh with your classmates,
rather than cry with your kids.
I wish you could wear the white school headscarf,
rather than wear the green wedding veil,
sleep all night so you could do well
in your studies,
rather than stay up all night for the baby.
I wish you could laugh one day.
I wish all this for you, my beloved sister,
and for all the girls forced to marry too young.
By Maryam M.
U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. Matthew Stroup