Mother Has a Moon Girl

Afghan Voices
2 min readFeb 14, 2022

by Mahtab Sahel

Mother has a moon girl
The sky, my colorful shawl
The mirror with all its glittering
Owes me a mouthful of smiles

A lump in my throat
Worried about the salty food
Ever know the feeling
A free woman has
When forced
A free woman when forced
To give herself to a man
She doesn’t long for?
A man whose response to a smile
If ever, is silence?

A free woman who understands
Life is not jubilant at all
So much longing but not
For sex or bearing sons.

Should she feel sorrow
For a husband with no work?
An ailing mother
And a brother in despair
Or a father’s burning cigarettes?

Razors yearning for the taste of her lips
Dagger in hand
Friends running after her
Pills no more ease her fever

Moon no more on the veranda
At night
Decadent she is called
For the cigarette she smokes.

No cuddle of love
Leaning on a scarecrow
Combing a dolls hair
To quench her motherly urge.

Tired of all suddenly
Hand in hand with madness
Breaks the Afghan code of honor
Runs out of the house.

People in wait to accuse
Wolves in wait outside the door
Darkened road in wait
Danger across road in road.

Running to dig her own grave
Behind the unfinished poem
Coiling in a corner
Fast asleep
Closed is the kitchen.

Too long is this worthless tale
Splashing water on her face,
Wearing a dress of flowers
Lipstick of deep rose.

The wind combing my hair
Two birds fly from my chest
Dancing like a butterfly
Taking all the roots off.



Afghan Voices

Writing by Afghan writers. Editor/Publisher: Nancy Antle; Editor: Pamela Hart