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by Craig Allen

Sixteen years old,
now buried in a place
that should have afforded
her the freedom to grow.

Like a flower taken out
of the constrictions
of a too small pot
and planted in a wide

field she began to stretch
petals toward a loving sun,
slowly beginning to realize
her dreams and desires.

But this is not how she
was expected to behave.
raised within the confines
of a belief system that makes

all women subservient chattel.
They are slaves, property,
fit only to bear children
not allowed to think beyond

the certain rudimentary
understanding of their place
in a society that chains them
with a religious ardor that

chooses to destroy rather
than simply accept that which
does not fit within their narrow
view of the universe.

So they turned against her,
accusing her of embarrassing
the family, turning away from
their god, their way of life,

not understanding that each
must be allowed to find their
own way through life. But she
was denied life.

Claiming a god given right,
her brother killed her, strangled
her until all breath left her
and her glassy eyes stared

unseeing, holding one
final question: Why?
Her father condoned the act.
Her mother and sisters praised

a brother who would murder
his own sister who wanted
nothing more than to grow
into something greater than

she was. A brilliant flower,
standing tall in the sunlight,
kissed by the breezes, coloring
the world with her beauty.

They call it an honor killing,
and the field lies bare and desolate.
No bright flower smiling at the sun.
Only the lies they have sown.

Now, instead of flowers, the sun
shines on a small, bronze plaque,
that doesn't even bear her name.
Only a number to mark who she was.

Craig Allen
© July 2010


Author's Note: For Aqsa Parvez - 1991- 2007

Posted on 11/20/2011
Copyright © 2018 Craig Allen

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Alison McKenzie on 11/20/11 at 04:56 PM

While the subject matter is frightening and true, I have to say that the construct (especially the line breaks) is precisely employed.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 05/17/17 at 08:58 PM

Excellent story poem. Glad I had a chance to read it. Congrats on POTD!

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