At The Gate Of A Hospital

Paul McCarthy, Mannequin Head, 1995, Courtesy The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens.
Lo! Who is being down loaded,
From the ambulance,
Covered with the bed sheet,
All spotted with blood,
And now tossing for life?
Her swollen belly portends,
That it contains a pre-born babe.
Oh! They tell she has been shot,
By her husband: the crown of head,
For not affording,
The substance for drink;
She was spared no more,
Though six children she bore.

Lo! Who has been brought,
Lying on the cot,
All scratched, nailed,
Bitten and torn,
As if the dogs,
Have exercised well their skill,
In the same way,
When they prey upon the deer?
Oh! They say she was raped,
By the men twelve,
They let loose appetite,
Of their bestial nature,
They always remained unpunished,
In the plagued system.
Now the cameramen zoom around,
For the public display,
To rag her remaining honour,
And a few men of law,
With the heavy round bellies,
Move helplessly.

Lo! Who has been brought,
Wrapped in a blanket,
With singed, burnt face,
Too horrible to see,
Shreds from her arms,
Are lurking loose,
Making the bones naked,
Yet she breathes,
Huffing like a furnace,
Her eyes exhibit,
Display a state of horror?
Oh! They tell she was burnt,
For restraining, preventing,
The husband: the guardian,
From fourth love marriage.

~ Shahida Latif

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