Metamorphosis of a dupatta

Artwork by Isma (@ismagulhasan)

Ribbon turned school sash

Which is to say, my growth

Shameful as it is will draw

Eyes otherwise, The sash

like a hungry caterpillar

Feeds on my attention

Becomes a thriving dupatta

On my 12 year old body

Boldly declaring me

‘Potential Crime Scene’

The eyes linger & follow

Playground to parking lot

While the dupatta grows in

width By leaps & bounds

It reaches my abdomen

& like a parasite

Dwells in my very being

Like a futile survival instinct

I jump for it

I jump for it

When I see my Father

My Brother, My Uncle

I do wonder why

I am 20 and it still grows

& gnaws at my heart

A black serpent feasts

Upon fear & shame

I fear the day will come

When it swallows me whole

Or in a final preposterous display

Transforms itself

Around my neck

A noose wrung tight


Mashaal She is a female Poet from Rawalpindi. Her Poems have appeared and are forthcoming in publications such as The Tule Review, Girls Right The World Journal, and Papeachu Review. 


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