Sunday, June 12, 2011

Child Bride

i am five
i am woken under cover of night
to marry a boy not much older than I
i don't know what marriage is
but I sure got a pretty new dress for the occasion

i like pink
it is my favorite color
i was six when I married my husband of twenty-five
i was scared of the things he did to me
but a wife has her duties
he is my family now

i am fourteen
i just had my second child
i do not feel well
but I must put how I feel on the side
because no one cares
and no one will take care of my children but me
i wish i had been born another

i am sixteen
vulnerable and afraid
leaving the only family I've ever known
for a new one that does not see me as their own
i am now their slave

i can no longer bear this life
i am slave, i am whore, i am Nothing
i burned myself today
like countless before me
Death, our only escape
yet it was not my time
i survived

i am thirteen
i wed four days ago
today I lay cold on a hospital gurney
because my husband claimed his rights to me
i bled to death
i am free

i am ten
my husband is thirty
and despite the promise he would wait
as husband, he claimed his rights
but i have rights as well
more than he
for i'm a child
my name is Nujood Ali
and i will be the pebble that will ripple the water

And she divorced him and became the voice for those that had none.

Pictures and story from this month's National Geographic story on child brides. An article well-worth reading.


jaerose said...

A difficult, but necessary is hard to forget people when we know their names..and with the help of someone they can tell their story..Jae

Lori Skoog said...

Thank you for posting this. How are you Rebecca-San? I take it that you have been back to work. Happy to see that you are writing again.

rebecca said...

Hi Lori....yes, finally back at work. Been busy but finding time here and there to write :) Hope all is well with you. Will come visit soon!

ds said...

Thank you for sharing this--those voices need to be heard.

Clarissa Draper said...

Thank you for this. My son told me about this article and the horrible things done to children. I'm glad that ten year old girl took a stand.

wena said...

thank you for sharing is both sad and enlightening!

visiting from Thursday Tales!


Rose - The Center of My Self said...

I haven't read the article yet, but I wanted to tell you that just your words put me in tears. The culture is so different there. My heart cries for these girl-children and what they're subjected to with total community acceptance of these things. Bravo to all those who "choose to be te stone that will disturb the water."