Poetry 2017 Longlist, Sanya Darakhshan Kishwar

I, Too, Have Rights

Sanya Darakhshan Kishwar

I am a scavenger
Rather, a manual one
I clean the sewage
The septic, and your garbage
Month to month, week to week
I am paid; the pennies are thrown
I am called; by words
My name is not known
Hey you! You listen!
They never spoke soft
But I realised that I too have rights
To live with dignity
And lead happily my life
Will you give me what I deserve
Will you give me what I got by birth?
My life, my dignity, my pride
They now say, there was a scavenger
There was a time, his hands used to carry
Loads of waste and garbage
Now, this is a time, he too has
Books in his hands
He carries with him a pen
Mightier than swords
His silent lips now have words
Words of self-respect, words of dignity…

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