Shinwari

She squats, entombed already
inside that burka,
gray linen worn as the stones
and soil beneath her flat sandals

stares into the treeline, past it
her end playing out
away from that greenness
and silent, meeting it

but she is not stone
nor is he, not yet,
not completely,
because she flinches
and his hand shakes
as he aims and misses twice

her head up, not bowing
before four more shots
send this woman
who allegedly fell already
lower, the way flesh falls
when it no longer fights
inevitable things
like gravity.

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About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
This entry was posted in New Free Verse and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Shinwari

  1. Ian Moone says:

    Very good, strong throughout

  2. Mark Vitrano says:

    I so love this piece…..the pictures painted by the words in my minds eye is powerful!!

  3. Kyle says:

    no words – like you, those images have been haunting me too – maybe writing is the answer

  4. nelle says:

    Thanks… this one has rolled around in my mind since I first learned of it, and can’t quite bring myself to be voyeur to slaughter. I hope there are places where the outcome is different, where maybe one drops their weapon and she picks it up and seconds later, walks away.

    You sum it well.

  5. Rhonda says:

    I’m glad you wrote it. I hate that it haunts you; it haunts me too and hurts like hell. I love your soul sister, and wish the world would fucking wake up. To execute this woman, any woman, any human, in the name of God kills all of us. What are we doing? How can we fight for human liberties in a country that allows such things to happen. Who would ever dare say these women could be free while this is still part of their way of life? We are fighting for the wrong things.

  6. powerful, intense and strong. Wrong is wrong is wrong, and hurts!

  7. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

    This is very strong.

    My bias now is that I want to hear about war from the perspective of women and children (no generals, no politicians, but yes to the child soldiers or conscripts or folks looking for a way to survive). This is a needed, necessary voice.

    • Thanks, Jeremy. Those are the voices we need to hear–the voices that rise from the powerless and the silenced. We have heard too much from the others for too long.

      • Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

        Yes we have. And dare I say it, but they seldom are interesting any more.

        On a related note: I’ve been doing a little side reading on the decisionmakers who were responsible for the bombing escalation of Vietnam under Nixon and when you see the incredible sexism, racism and false machismo these men adopted and employed in their dealings with one another then you really do see how sick so much of the power structure really is and how cavalier about life itself.

        • Agree all the way, Jeremy–propaganda and doublespeak are dull–it has to be, because if they used live language to describe what they want to do, and what they want from us, we would be shocked and horrified. Better to confuse it all under names like collateral damage as military advisers, etc.

          On your second point–and so very related–it sounds like necessary but horrific reading. We need to know more about the minds we choose to make decisions for us, and adopt a more human (and humane) paradigm.

          • Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

            I just wonder whether the corridors of power are accessible to humane leadership. It sounds a little hyperbolic or even lazy to say that, but when you look at what happens to people who often fill positions of power it does make you wonder.

            You’re very right. Honest, lucid and direct language isn’t allowed because that would be telling the truth. . . .

            • As things stand now, I certainly believe those corridors are closed off, but that does not mean it will always be so. Change happens slowly, and we can only help to shape that change and nurture it. Do I sound hopelessly optimistic here? Probably. What a phrase–I am, indeed, a hopeless optimist.

  8. sorella & me says:

    An incredible piece Susan. Thanks so much for sharing. ~ anna

  9. doncarroll says:

    very strong and especially like the third stanza with “the stone which thirsts for her blood more than her body holds” is really really good. it’s not just the mere imagery of it that stands out with it.

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