Farzana Parveen


A 25-year-old woman was stoned to death and killed by her family outside a high court in the Pakistani city of Lahore, for marrying the man she fell in love with. Parveen was killed in broad daylight, in the presence of several bystanders, in front of the top court in the second largest city in Pakistan.

Its time I taught you
All Rumi etched onto my skin
And breathed into my heart
For love is not a sin that
I am guilty of

I imagine her cries
At night they haunt me
Her pleas
She shouldn’t have had to make
Were you blind to her crumbling before you?

I see bricks raining down on her
Each blow aimed to kill
Her outstretched hand
Grasping at the future
Being torn away

Tell me
Do you see her as you cradle your daughter
Whispering lullabies
Kissing the monsters away
You teach her love every single day

Every time I close my eyes
I hear that last gasp of breath
When her lungs gave up
Her heart succumbed
And her eyes remained open
So she could always remember the faces of those she called her kin

Tell me
Were her cries not enough
To bring you to your knees
Were her pleas not enough
To make you shudder in your skin

Claim all you want
That those outside our lands
Pollute our systems
Our lives
Our people
But how do you plan to justify this?

Tell me
How do you fall asleep at night
Safely tucked away
When you stood by
Shoving popcorn down your throat
Watching the smash hit play out before you

One hand would have been enough
A drop makes a trickle
makes a stream
makes a river
makes a sea
makes an ocean
Why weren’t your hands raised to cease?

I wonder
Did she rest her head on the concrete
Where once her feet stood
Among the feet of those around her
Did she helplessly look before her
As she realised her undoing
Or did she say a last prayer
Glad for the ending
For even as she stood surrounded
She felt alone
And even while her warm blood wasted
She felt cold and forlorn
Or have you lost the voice
Bestowed upon you
And by keeping quiet
You chose the path
Most travelled upon
Silent acceptance
Then perhaps
Sealing our lips together
Would be a befitting punishment
For a crime we all committed

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10 thoughts on “Farzana Parveen

  1. A brilliant piece of writing about a deeply troubling matter. I congratulate you for your bravery about speaking out about this and protesting against the cultural norms of your country. All strength to you sister. Regardless of religion let us join each other in the heartfelt prayer that such atrocities will cease.

  2. Really well written so that the feeling resounds. Great rhythm and some subtle rhyme. A really important matter being addressed with equal helpings of sensitivity and assertiveness. Go you.

  3. This poem makes you get the willies knowing the story behind it. Very vividly described. I can´t imagine how torturous has to be stoned to death, what a long and painful death and only because she felt in love. True love brakes all rules. Because I´m sure she knew she would be at risk. A brave woman, and a tragic ending.
    And why don´t we get rid of these nutjobs.

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