The Walls

(This poem was written in the wake of the crackdown on the young women demonstrators in Iran who want to be free of Hejab and gender discrimination and live a life of equality, freedom and opportunities. It talks of a girl who had to leave home seeking refuge in another country)

Two on either side,

behind the concrete,

they collide over me.

The first on my left hides the home I left in haste,

in despair and in hope,

as my mother’s tears washed my traces away.

Behind the wall on my right, dreams are in dormant.

Walking the length of the desert in hasty strides,

out of fear, hunger and hopelessness,

and then in slow motion

as the sun burns the skin,

and the palm trees wither away,

and the oasis dries up,

and the sand storm envelops me in dust,

and hope walks away backwards.

Two steps forward will take me to the destination.

One step lingers in doubt.

The wall on my right,

where my dreams have travelled faster than me,

can be seen in the haze.

I see no door and no keys,

I see no light to show the way forward.

walking to the north,

back to the south,

back to the first stop,

silence envelopes my hopes.

I am in no man’s land.

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