Ishrat Afreen

(25 December 1956 / Karachi / Pakistan)

Ghazal (4) - Poem by Ishrat Afreen

All their lives long their marriages were blest with prayer
But they crushed their own glass bangles, to drink
I hearEnough poison there is of traditions to last us a life time
From sorrows they gave us knotted inside our veils.

Never was there a harvest in my village,
When the rose, not the kussum should have dyed our veils
To the fragrances of their apparel the wind owed a debt
Those sad princesses of all seasons who have now left.

Even kissing those fingers is reckoned a sin
Which inscribe on dust the verses of creation.

Who stole the levies on the harvest this year to keep?
Tell me who owns these fields, and who has them to keep?

[Translated by Rukhsana Ahmad]

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 9, 2012

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