By Belinda Cannon

I hear that the ground is dry and barren
in the Middle East.
There, where in some places,
its a crime,
if a woman is raped,
ravaged and beaten by a man,
there, where some believe this to be her fault.

Somewhere a hole was dug.
Who would dig such a hole?
In the center of a city
with the crowd assembling,
who would watch such a thing?
A woman, her crime was being female,
and then being raped,
Who ripped her skirt, who showed her ankles,
then her thighs - and called it her fault?
She was lowered feet first into the hole -
Who held her hand, or pushed her, or drug her to the hole?
Waist deep she stood as they packed in the dirt,
she prayed and begged
reach for family, for her mother.
Who filled the hole with dirt, dry and dusty?
She could not run and the stones began to pound their way
into her chest, into her head,
her eyes were fixed and fearful.
Who threw the stones, and how many did it take?

Another woman, walked by quickly
careful her shoes didn’t make a sound -
there on the edge of the crowd,
somewhere in the Middle East -
careful that her head was well covered -
that the ache, between the stories that she does not tell, stays quiet,
so she can stay alive

The last stone was thrown
Who boasted of the surety of his aim?
Her lifeless body was taken away,
lovely thin ankles, carefully covered.
Is the ground still soft there, on that very spot
where life goes on and women pass by with their children
and men tell stories of god and bravery?

The stones flew, many stones
who quarried them out of the dry land,
early on that day
and lay them there in a pile in the city square?
and then joined the other men,
and bowed on his prayer rug -
carefully facing Mecca?


Thank you for your FAB contributions, Belinda!


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