Poem -

Identity

Identity

I am not usually one to stand up for myself, I am shy and often let things go easily. This poem is an oath to myself, a piece of encouragement and clarity. 
Note: The first two stanza's are from the P.O.V of an outsider. 
Thank you for reading. 

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Identity
You know what I think when I glance your way?
My mind screams oppression. Depression.
Did I fail to mention we live in Canada?
You need to be freed from the need, to cover yourself.
Your rights are limited,
and I’m thankful that’s not me.

So that scarf you always wear.
That cloth that covers all your hair.
You say it is “to cover the eyes of men”,
I see what your religion wants you to believe.
That is not freedom.

What you don’t know,
is that I’ve been given a choice.
So you choke me,
with your voice.
What your ignorance does not see,
is that I am the one that is free.

My hijab is my identity.
The essence of my reality.
The protector of my chastity.
The nourisher of my purity.
My scarf gives me liberty,
and represents my modesty.

You see this hijab draped around my head?
It is more than just coverage.
It symbolizes words unsaid.

My scarf makes me known
that I am indeed a Muslim.
Pious
and devoted,
with morality in the heart.
That I refuse to be used,
abused,
and torn apart.

It stands for peace, serenity, and love.
It is a sign of submission,
from the One above.

My scarf is also a reminder of things I should not be;
disrespectful,
dishonest,
but to behave with integrity.

Do not rip this blessing away from my head.
For when I am stripped away from my freedom;
it is then that I feel dread.

Can you not see this hijab has liberated me?
From society’s expectations you see,
because I have the power,
to stop you from seeing a part of me.
I choose to let you see,
what I want you to see.

I should not have to dress up and wear makeup,
to the point where my appearance is the only thing you can perceive.
Don’t tease me for not dressing the way you want me to;
all because I refuse, to be controlled by you.

Real men,
look more into the mind,
Not concentrating on women’s behinds.
So maybe all the boys won’t think that I’m pretty.
But I know what my Creator has taught me,
kindness and humility.

So before you judge on whether I need to be freed;
I ask that you open your minds to see.
That if anyone needs to be freed,
It’s not me.

Zainab Gondal

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Comments

author
Mitsali Fatima

Beautiful first write!
Full of determination and fearlessness,
Well done :)

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author
Tony Taylor

A BEAUTIFULLY conveyed insight into just who you are as a poet as well a person......Truly FEARLESS (like Mitsali added) and a profound look at how women feel about being lumped into a category that is filled with condescension.......I think this applies not only to those who don the Hijab but also to those who choose to stand up, be heard, and seen, for what, & who they truly are!!.....ALL STARS!!......well conceived and BEAUTIFULLY delivered!!......WELCOME to COSMO dear poet sister!!.......LOVE & ROCKETS!!.......T xo 🐧✴👌✴❤✴🐧
Ps. You definitely have a gift for wielding words ZAINAB!!

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