Ugly Patriarchy

Woman, they say

Your breasts get larger each day! It is now time 

To find a man, they conclude

Hands clasped together

As if my fate is already agreed upon

A fate written by the tears of mothers,

Grandmothers, aunties, and cousins

Engraved into our family history

This long-held tradition

Of tying our women up in obligations

To be something to everyone

And nothing to herself

Led onwards by the hand of a man

As if we ourselves

Have no minds.

But they expect me to smile and nod

Asking permission to exist

As if it was they that made me out of clay

Up there in the high heavens

And released my sorrowed soul down here

All to lead me onwards like a lost goat

Patting my head as I bleat silently of freedom

Of a life where I am my own master

Not just someone’s sister, daughter, wife, or mother

But still they look on with suspicion in their eyes

When I say

I did it for me

As if everything a black woman does

Is for the pleasure of a man

In this ugly patriarchy.

Sanaa Mirz

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