Ishrat Afreen

(25 December 1956 / Karachi / Pakistan)

Ghazal (6) - Poem by Ishrat Afreen

Why do girls follow the destinies of their mothers?
Why are their bodies deserts, their eyes the ocean deep?

Why do women keep their jewels locked in trunks
To whom they wil bequeath their legacy of grief?

Those who were themselves worthy of worship
Why do they clutch stones between jasmine fingertips?

Those who remained hungry and bare-footed
Why do they never let their chadors slip?

When tragedy strikes behind closed doors
Why is it only the walls that often know.

Shining upon our union ask the rays of the morning sun
Why are the nights armed with daggers when they come?

[Translated by Rukhsana Ahmad]


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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 9, 2012



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