To The Women Of My Blood

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In memory of Fauzia Ahmed, 1959 – 2017

A perception of South Asian women has lingered

That they are inherently submissive, naive, hidden from the world behind dupattas and burkas

But I look to the women of my bloodline who arrived before me

Audacious, uncompromising, unbearable to the men who don’t want to hear them

Bold looks, big dreams, words armed with wit

It’s dangerous

Some will try and bring you down to earth where they want you to belong

But you are flying, dazzling, undefeated

Your mother brought you and my mother to a cold strange land for a better life

And as your necklace rests on my chest I remember

To never compromise, to never bow my head in submission, to be free

As we laid you to rest, the birds were flying above

And I just knew

You were flying with them

 

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