“Until we are all free, we are none of us free. ” – Emma Lazarus

I never had to fear couplets
burning in the backyard fire
or my voice chiming out silly
rhymes hushed by a vigilant brother.
I never had to prove that poetry
was a birthright stitched to my fingers
itching for a pencil or a stick in the dirt
hidden in sleeves and a mind trying not to
forget The hungry azure sky swallows another day.
I never had to set myself on fire
because the pen was actually not mightier
than the sword.

I was inspired today after reading robert okaji’s blog entry about the poetry of Afghan women.
I’m also tying this in with the Tuesday platform over at with real toads:

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  1. Oh could we wish the pen was mightier… but too often the sword does win

  2. Wow, you had me from that first stellar line. This is a terrific reflection.


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