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CZ.com | Poems | Burqa
 

Burqa

At last, the perfect outfit,
the one all women
have been waiting for
and centuries of couturiers
have strived to envision:
the ultimate female attire.

Herstory can be followed
through all cultures and ages
viewing the clothes
that women have worn:
feet bound into tiny sizes,
a wasp-like waist,
a nun's habit,
the sensual sari,
whale-bone corset,
hoop skirt,
flapper dress,
a power suit,
flowered housedress,
off-the-shoulder ball gown,
bosom-flattering empire,
Victorian petticoats—
the human mind has designed
an almost endless parade
of fashion shape and form
to fit, conceal, adorn,
accentuate, sculpt
and present the soft shape
of a woman's body—
breast and buttock,
hips and waist,
neckline and thighs,
the ankle, the foot,
the throat and curve of spine,
backless, strapless, topless,
form-fitting, A-line—
we have pretty much
run the gamut.

Until now, in the beginning
of the twenty-first century,
a singular tradition made universal:
cover the female body
from crown of head
to tip of foot
in an all-encompassing tent:
not even the face revealed.
Here is the answer
to every clothes dilemma
the fair sex has ever deliberated.
Simply make the woman invisible.
She will see no evil
hear no evil
and especially speak no evil.
Woman will not tempt
man—drawing him
into the lure of female beauty.

Covered from top to bottom,
young women, old women—
no one can distinguish
age or intelligence,
class or race,
comely from plain,
svelte or curvaceous.

A few bright colours
or somber ones,
a swaddling of fabric
and presto—an entire
documentary of style
and human history
via the feminine
neatly sewn up,
under the wrap of the burqa.

Embrace the future,
Let fabrication cease to exist,
let profit end,
let all women wear
the same outfit.

The mothers, daughters, wives
sisters, lovers,
the goddess in her many guises
will walk imperceptibly
throughout the world.

The early morning breeze
will stir the folds
of her coloured robe,
her loveliness seen by no one:
her eyes—those windows of the soul—
perfectly and forever concealed.

When all women wear burqas
it will be an amazing sight:
nothing left to be seen of a woman's body;
the decorative feminine,
the seductress,
the allure of being female
become a flowing cloth.
Here, in the twenty-first century,
fifty-two percent of human beings
will move silently, invisibly,
and oh, so gently,
slipping through the shadows
of a world where gender
is more powerful
than flowers or weapons,
than nations or culture,
than desire or imagination.

 

Copyright by Carolyn Zonailo: www.carolynzonailo.com, 2009

 
 
CZ.com | Poems | Burqa
 
 
 
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