Kishwar Naheed

(1940 / Bulandshahr / India)

Anticlockwise - Poem by Kishwar Naheed

Even if my eyes become the soles of your feet
even so, the fear will not leave you
that though I cannot see
I can feel bodies and sentences
like a fragrance.

Even if, for my own safety, I rub my nose in the dirt till it becomes invisible
even so, this fear will not leave you
that though I cannot smell
I can still say something.

Even if my lips, singing praises of your godliness
become dry and soulless
even so, this fear will not leave you
that though I cannot speak
I can still walk.

Even after you have tied the chains of domesticity,
shame and modesty around my feet even after you have paralysed me
this fear will not leave you
that even though I cannot walk
I can still think.

Your fear of my being free, being alive
and able to think might lead you, who knows, into what travails.

[Translated from urdu to english by Rukhsana Ahmed]

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 9, 2012

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