The angel of dread covers her head.
If not, she knows she’ll soon be dead.
Spools of her Abaya unravel to threads.
Her shift gets shorter, she’ll soon be dead.
The boys like blackbirds ‘round her spread.
If they consort her, she’ll soon be dead.
She walks in daylight, buys Wali bread.
If out past curfew, she’ll soon be dead.
Been dealt decent cards without a spread.
If she shows her hand, she’ll soon be dead.
She’s writing stories that remain unread.
Whispers wisdom, she’ll soon be dead.
If Allah’s a woman, she’s sure unwed.
Or worlds of wisdom would go unsaid.
She must look down before she treads.
Belief’s a burden; fears must be fed.
Negotiate freedoms, plead and beg.
Wali lets her go walking, the living dead.
Bleeds to be bred, the angel of dread.
© khartless 2022, All Rights Reserved
Artwork by Amy Brown
Flashback Track #56 asks us to write about something we care passionately about. For me, this topic is women’s rights. In order for there to be a chance at equality, we must globally end male guardianship rights over women. Here is an article on the life of a woman in Saudi Arabia and also a recent article on the 28,000 women who applied to 30 newly opened train driver jobs (women were given the right to drive in Saudi Arabia in 2018).