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Behind the Veil
(for the Women of Afghanistan)

A Poem by:

Michael Hillmer

Colourful Bar


Copyright shall at all times remain vested in the Author. No part of the work shall be used, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the Author's express written consent.

She prayed for the fire this time

from the west


Where the plane merges

with its shadow on the wall

of her existence


To rain down eternity

from the empty desert sky


her bowed head


Blow down the walls

that close her in

holding her

prisoner in her own skin


Blow out the painted windows

that have kept the light so long

from shining in


Tear away the veil

that hides this face

the false prophets said was nothing

but shame and sin

to be seen in the clear light of day again


Strip off the shroud

that shields this desperate, yearning body

from a world that might have been


To be struck by sunlight

and the cool soft rain

instead of stones

for exposing this lonesome skin

to the piercing gaze of her fellow man

once again


She prayed for the fire this time

from the west

down to the east

the fire that breathes eternal

grace and peace.


Michael Hillmer
Copyright © 2002

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