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Yemeni Journey

Stand

 

I say this to you
Be brave
stand with courage
lock eyes
don’t waver
slip
don’t let them see
the fear that seeps
though the cracks
in your
heart
made one by one
each time you
allowed yourself
to stand up and be
heard
They don’t know
the nightmares
that rip you from
sleep
sweatdrenched
teeth clenched
memories
darker than any
night they’ve seen
All they know
is what they think
they see
in the pale mirror
reflections
of their own
souls
You stand tall
Show them
how mountains
come to seem still
yet shift and
echo their own
tumultuous
pasts

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11 comments

Oum Soumayyah on August 27, 2015 10:07 pm Reply

Assalaam alaykum wa-rahmatullah wa-barakatuh sis. I admire your strength sis. May Allah continue to strengthen you and your family, protect you, and grant you Jannatul Firdaws.

Khadijah on August 27, 2015 10:39 pm Reply

Wa Aleikum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu. BarakAllaahufeekee! Ameen to your du’a.

Amina on August 28, 2015 1:41 am Reply

Mashallah I really enjoy reading your poetry mashallah. They are really nice and creative mashallah

Rebecca Jean Downey on August 29, 2015 2:35 pm Reply

The heart is, indeed a lonely hunter. No one knows the fear that lies within each of us or how our hearts ache for answers to some of life’s most pressing questions. Some days it takes every ounce of courage to place one foot in front of the other, but step forward, we must. The most guarded secret of humanity, is that we are all afraid of being ourselves.

Khadijah on August 29, 2015 4:53 pm Reply

This can be so true, Rebecca. I think one of the most profound effects of my being in Yemen, though, was the stripping away of so much of the superficial in order to embrace the deeper truths. It’s a double edged sword I live with every day.

Geoff Talbot on September 3, 2015 7:46 pm Reply

I love this and yet I am torn by it. The need and indeed the will to remain resolute and dignified in times of stress YET racked by the need to express vulnerability… It seems as though intimacy lies in the chasm between these two world. Beautiful work K!

Khadijah on September 3, 2015 8:56 pm Reply

Thank you, Geoff. You’ve expressed a recurring theme in my life, actually, one that I think shows up very often in my writings, as I face it so often in real time.

Keaton Smith on September 4, 2015 12:15 am Reply

This reflection made me pause and think. And then I read it again, the same reaction. I saw myself standing and being that very person you just describe way too many times. There are times I just want to be myself, but at the same time, there are too many people who would take advantage of that and so I toughen up and show them a mountain, and stern will, a person they want to see. How deep and moving! Excellent writing.

Khadijah on September 4, 2015 1:37 am Reply

Yes! It’s difficult for me to ever NOT stand up for myself and what I believe in. That’s where wisdom comes in, because sometimes it simply is better to just let something go.

Kellie Tinnin on September 7, 2015 12:08 am Reply

Standing up, having courage can be lonely. We only know what we see not what really exists in someone. Or, maybe what we are choosing to show only scratches the surface of what exists in us.

Khadijah on September 7, 2015 12:17 am Reply

It’s true. We like to think that we aren’t judgmental but really, we do all judge by what we see, in one way or another. The thing is to be able to reassess and change our minds when we get to know more about a person than what we first saw.
It takes a lot of courage to let people see beneath our exteriors, into ourselves.