A victim of her family’s pious greed, the young girl,

In shame crouched in the centre of the crowd of men;

A duty, a privilege, a mercy;

They cried on and on.

Whore, they cried, slut!

Pustule on the arse of a flyblown dog!

And still they chanted religion;

Shame, dishonor, lowest of the low;

You’re a blight on our family name.

The taller of the two men, wearing black,

Cried loud to fever pitch.

He threw the largest rocks the hardest;

On and on taking flippant aim

But taking target all the same.

There were rarely misses;

Who counted them anyway?

Most found their target,

Most made their mark;

Most drew blood, beneath the covering

On the thin white sheet she cowered under.

Then more blood;

Till the shape of her head was,

Within the once whiteness of her veil,

Totally red and bright.

The frenzy and fervor of the crowd mounted

As they inched forward and then

I lost sight of their small and weakened quarry.

I vomited, knowing I was helpless to do anything

But reach deep inside and release myself from pain,

That etched itself like daggers there.

Then, as a silence ensued,

The men walked away;

Some eyes glazed with fury;

Some with pride;

Others with indifference.

The women,

Gathered in her body;

Wrapping her in a blanket, weeping as they,

Lifted her home.

Written by ABrown 2000


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