cheney-workshop

What should I write about Afghan women?
Their lives or deaths
Dreams or nightmares
Happiness or sadness
Darkness or brightness
I don’t know, I don’t know

What should I write about Afghan women?
Men’s fanaticism or women’s unity
Men’s violent society or women’s bravery
Men with guns and stones or women with pen and paper
Men with closed minds or clever and kind women

I don’t know, I don’t know
I hear voices, horrible voices
I don’t know what they want
Men are telling me 
You must stop writing
We will tear your paper and break your pen if you don’t stop
These voices are insufferable
I don’t know, I don’t know

Angry men
Dark night without any light
horrible voices shriek and threaten

But they cannot stop me
They cannot stop me 
I am not afraid
I will write and reflect women’s pain
Women’s feelings and desires
We will unite in our struggle to gain our rights
Until we succeed

By Zahra W., age 14

Photo by Cheney Orr