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I am a woman

Published : Saturday, 25 July, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 1496
Rezwana Afroze Ramisha

Look at my eyes.
Those cried while looking for help I never received.
Those cried while being abused by the slaver.
Those cried while seeing my child being sold the same way I was.
None of it was heard.
It only left me with a grieving heart.
Still, I could bear it all hoping for a thriving future.

Ain't I a woman?

Look at my arm.
Those caressed the children.
Those used for drudgery.
Those used for ploughing and gathering into the barns, nothing different from a man's.
Those formed lesions working for hours quarrying stones.
Those burned and bruised a thousand times.
Still, it works just as fine as anyone else's.

Ain't I a woman?

Look at my legs.
Those have perpetuated black scars of being shackled for years.
Those tired of being crammed up with work.
Those blistered walking for several miles.
Those weakened of the rigorous labor.
I endured it all; I knew no one's coming for help.
I am my analgesia.

Ain't I a woman?

Look at my face.
The blackish mark is still unfaded on my left chin.
The fine lines faded into wrinkles much earlier than anticipated.
It had been always called as vile-looking.
The memories of the horrendous image of extreme cruelty is still vivid.
I understood, being born in this cruelty had truly taken a toll.
Yet I was certain, I have to go a long way.

Ain't I a woman?

Look at my body.
It was never forgiven nor impeded by any.
It was rammed multiple times with no mercy.
It had suffered numbness from merciless persecution.
The unrelenting oppression you put me through haunted me all my life.
Sometimes death felt like an easier impunity.
Yet tomorrow seemed to hold something new, I lived.

Ain't I a woman?

Look at my soul.
There was no one to offer solace.
You left me with unremitting pain.
You casted down my self-esteem and my everything.
You tried to wring my soul and heart in every possible way.
It had only formed blebs of lava within me.
I am as equal as you and sometimes even stronger psychologically.
Yet I learned to gather strength from each of my tears, sweat, and blood.

Look at me now.
After all these years of torment, you still couldn't suppress my aspirations.
I was able to leave the taint that you tried to adhere myself to.
I was able to break free from the curse you put my life into.
I was able to escape your inferno.
You don't own enough to shatter the strength of my soul.
Your might is not enough to stop me from blooming.
I was able to endure these all and so can every woman.

I am a woman.

Look at yourself.
Look at your pathetic self.
Egalitarianism is the least expected of you.
You are the weaker one that needs to rely on others.
You are the one left with self-destructive ego.
Never take my kind as the weaker one.
My wring of sorrow has ended and so is your chauvinistic reign.

Look at yourself.
You lost.

The poet is a student, University of Dhaka (Institute of Health Economics)

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