Modesty – by Barbara Howerska

Across the road, I often see
the woman in the veil.
In truth I know
she’s much like me,
the same concerns,
the laundry,
the grown up kids.

I’ve seen her smoke a cigarette
outside the back door
evening time.
The lines converge
when strangers look
into our eyes,
each choice is never made alone
beyond the judgement line.
The burqa and the Sunday best
church bonnet,
women’s bodies fight the line.

So when the plunging summer dress
is battleground refined,
“you’ll not be going to the bar
to get the drinks this time”.
We’re back to lines of modesty,
each choice is never really free.
The burqa and the Sunday best
church bonnet,
women’s bodies fight the line.

 

 

Barbara is a member of the Beehive Poetry group in Bradford, West Yorkshire. She has performed poetry in Bradford, Haworth and Wakefield, as part of literary and arts events.