Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I wanted to believe
That we had moved beyond the days
When baby girls were placed in box like graves,

The days when a father felt no pain,
In burying a child
He’d refused to claim
Or seeing his broken wife
Whisper daily prayers and angelic names
Into a hole too small
To be called a grave.
I wanted to believe we had moved beyond that.
To believe the world had finally seen how-
Beautiful women were.
How God has curved our spines with his merciful touch
And placed the souls of children into our wombs
As a safe haven from the ugliness of the world.


But even now
Even today,
There are young girls-
With hair in braids and eyes like pearls,
Whose innocence is stolen by those who believe that virtue,
Can be found in the mutilation of something God has already crafted to perfection.

I do not know
What logic
Allows a mother to run a knife
Between her daughter’s legs
As if the evils of the world lay dormant in her 8 year old labia.

Nor what culture,
What tradition
Teaches that it’s okay
To maim a girl
Too young to know
That bleeding would make her a woman
And losing blood was our body’s way of
Thanking God for the children we will come to have.

I wish
I could have told them
That your self respect did not lie
In the tip of a searing knife
Or in the gut wrenching scream
That you release
Every time you realize
That you might never know
The pleasure of loving a man


I stand humbled
In awe of every woman
Who through gritted teeth
And aching heart
Told the world
Of her eight year old self
Legs spread apart
and circumcised
Who told the world
how she was left
Unable to feel
And de-womanized.

But I swear to God
I have never known anyone more 'woman'.
More mother, lover and friend.
More guardian angel than you
Who taught the world
That blood
Could also break a woman
That tears made even angels human
That forgiveness
Makes the broken whole
And that a woman
Was the closest thing to heaven
This earth would ever see.

You see
I have found faith in you.
To believe that every broken girl
Becomes a beautiful woman
Who will one day
Change the world.

Farah Gabdon
Copyright © 2011

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