When I walk down the markets you see an oppressed woman all I see are feet and blurred outlines. Do I like not being able to look up at the clear blue sky except from the window of my room? Is it my life’s dream to follow a man on a path that isn’t mine mine? Do I not crave adventure? I am just like you. But to the child born and raised in a dungeon the sunlight is blinding.
You say let go of your chains. Walk free. All I can think of is my family. My mother who spent her life being my living shield. My grandmother who couldn’t hope and lived her life cloaked in fear. My sisters who deflect this question by “the veil? What do you mean? I am ravishing in black!”
We are in awe of your confidence and long legs. But we don’t aspire to be you. We want to be invisible but seen, to be loved not coveted, to get drunk on freedom but not lose our senses. “So change. Drop that veil. Fight.” You have not watched your daughter tortured for your mistakes. To fear for your life and that ones you love. So don’t judge me if I keep the veil. If you have only known the familiarity of a cage the skies are daunting. I do not make excuses for living my life, I just live it.
I am your comrade in war but for now I will keep my veil. You might lose a job over an angry outburst I might lose my life. Don’t pity me, don’t judge me, don’t help me. There may be times when you have my back and there will be days when I have yours. For an idea to take life it must be accepted with open arms not forced. So the revolution is silent, it is slow, but it will keep humanity going.
I try. I may not have wings but I wish them for my daughters. I teach my sons what it means to be born equal. And I know the day I will be buried the white clouds will roll by silently, the birds will sing of love, the flowers will bloom and the bees will hum. And there from that grave my soul will rise towards the clear blue sky.