What Is My Voice? A Poem For Asifa

asifa

What Is My Voice?

Is my voice the color of my skin;

Or the brand of the clothes that I wear?

Is it the name of the God I worship;

Or that of my gender laid bare? 

Is my voice the sound of my music;

Or is it the language I speak?

Is it the size and shape of my body;

Or the tears of my mother as she weeps?

Is my voice the dreams of tomorrows;

Or those of yesterdays gone by?

Is it the hope that stirs the spirit;

Or a fear-filled, breathless cry?

Is my voice the soul of a Nation;

Or the monthly cycle of shame? 

Is it the story of my lifeless limbs;

at the end of your gruesome game?

Is my voice a screaming headline;

filling the coffers of the rich?

Or is it the gasp of the latest hashtag;

as I lie defeated in a ditch?

Is my voice the gathering storm;

Or the hush of a hurricane’s eye?

Is it the fury that shakes foundations,

while the world watches me die? 

Is my voice my own to shape;

Or is it yours to plunder?

Must I care to raise it and shout;

Or give up… to simply surrender?

Is my voice worth the effort;

Of standing together to fight?

Will my voice awaken justice;

Or fade with the dying light? 

Do You Hear My Voice?

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