I was married as a child without father or mother, without happiness
Others marry in a grand way with much joy
Others are delighted to have a child
But I lost my child because I was a child myself
Some find happiness in a new life
I lost mine in my new life
Some shop for new clothes to buy their children
I shop for soap to wash the old clothes
Some don’t know which food to eat
I worry I will have nothing to feed my children
Some are excited for Eid to wear new clothes
I clean dried raisins to sell for 50 Afghani to feed five children
I tell my daughter “your mom is alive, but you don’t have a dad”
I prefer to beg than force my daughter to marry young
My story will not repeat with her
My daughter will not marry as a child
I can’t give my children what they want
I see in their eyes a bleak future with no education
My hands shake when I can’t buy them notebooks
My heart hurts when I can’t pay for their smallest wish
People take their children to the hospital for care
Mine must tolerate the sickness until they get better—or die
Others wait for their father to bring them fruits at night
My children search for their sick father to bring him home
Oh God! People dream of having children
Please forgive me that I cannot feed mine!
But I believe life will not always be filled with pain
One day my dream will come true
I will see my children in school
Wearing clean clothes that I wash with a grateful smile
Today my smile is painful but at least I have it
Tomorrow I will smile with true happiness
By Shogofa Az.
Photo by Evgeni Zotov.
So very powerful, Shogofa. You are speaking for so many mothers throughout the world! Thank you for this profound poem. Stacy
Thanks for the encouragement which helps me to go on and on.
I will keep trying for being voice of women who are silence and forced to be silence.
Thanks for the convincing me to do my best,
Happy to have you all,
You have become such a strong voice for people who struggle in life. Thank you for writing this powerful tribute to mothers in Afghanistan and around the world who try to take care of their children the best they can and smile — even when they feel nothing but heartache. Beautiful work!
Thanks for the encouragement.
Shogofa, it is so wonderful to see your poem – profound, powerful and deeply honest – published here. You are educating the world about the women of Afghanistan through your storytelling. Thank you for sharing your gift and being a voice for women like Spengul’s mother who don’t have one. Leah xo
Thanks dear Leah,
I miss you a lot,
Thanks a lot for encouraging me to continue writing,
You are like Malala of Afghanistan, working for education, peace and true women empowerment…brilliantly written, keep it up.