Bride Burning...Women Burning

a poem by Elizabeth Padillo Olesen, Denmark

Let me register my shock
What a word
What a horror in history
that she a lover,
a wife, a mother,
a worker and helper
be burned to death!

How on earth greed sucks
the life of love
the beauty of partnership
the joy of motherhood
the flow of creativity
by some cruel art!

How can it be true?
How can it be true?
And yet the fire flickers
and the wind blows the flames!

Other shapes of burning women
are still in the furnace
each day burning, each day burning
as a mother watches a dying child
without medicine to offer,
as parents only desire
the birth of a son,
as a wife loses self-esteem
by the rejection of a husband,
as a girl or woman
is sold for prostitution
or as she labours
in the fields and factories
and yet cannot live as a person.

The burning of brides
The burning of women
are seen by other clouds of witnesses that try
to water the fire but the flames are still all over.

Let this burning
be brought
an offering to the heavens
to melt
the steel gate
of women`s justice
on earth!

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