The Burqa

Navy blue, long and baggy

Top and bottom with different designs of flowers

Hanging outside the shop along with other white and green ones

Swinging in the cold wind of Kabul winter.

Swinging tiredly and wondering about the woman who would own it

Maybe the one who would wear it unwillingly

Cursing herself for being born a woman

Complaining about her inability to see or move freely.

Swinging right and left, the burqa remained wondering

Whose face would it hide? Whose identity would it take?

By Meena


3 responses to “The Burqa

  1. This is a quietly powerful poem. And how creative to write it from the burqa’s point of view! Your last sentence “Whose identity would it take?” took my breath away. Wow.

  2. Nice work Meena. I liked that you wrote from the burqa’s perspective.

  3. Katherine Sterling

    I cannot imagine being invisible. It is interesting how you gave the burqa a personality in your poem, a humanness because of the human gift of questioning (“Whose face would it hide? Whose identity would it take?”). It made me think that the burqa is a character in a story. It seems like it is an undeveloped character, but one that effects millions of women. In your poem it just benignly swings in the wind outside the shop where it awaits its captive. It seems harmlessly ominous, and is only made of cloth which intended for supression of women is not unlike an apron which represents being tied to a stove. I cannot imagine what it means to have to wear a burqa; I have only worn an apron, but do no longer. I would hope one day to see a poem about the burqa no longer seen swinging in the wind in the marketplace or ever worn by a woman again. I believe that day will come. I do want to ask a question however. Where are burqas made and who makes them? Thank you for writing this poem. As you can see it sparked in me many thoughts.

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