My family have been weavers for generations,
turning thread into cloth
except my aunt who was a storyteller
she weaved tales
turning thoughts into dreams
until she was forced into marriage to a man double her age
and her voice was silenced.
I will teach my daughter about them
I will make her clothes as yellow as the Sun—
so she will learn that her happiness depends on herself and does not need an external source;
a skirt as orange as fire—
so she can turn into a fiery ball of fire that tramples anyone who dares stand in her way;
a dress as blue as the waters of the Nile—
so she learns to be free and not be contained in one place;
a kaftan as green as the grass in the meadows behind my grandmother’s house—
so she knows to stay rooted even with her head up in the clouds
rooted the way the house and the meadows couldn’t be,
bombed by militants and reduced to ashes
the grey of which has dropped into my daughter’s eyes;
a frock as pink as the tulips that bloomed everywhere in spring
and were my mother’s favourite flowers—
so she can spread beauty in this parched world
and will also be my way of telling my mother I miss her
in case she’s watching over us from above.
who died in police custody
who only wanted to see her country free
and died before she could witness it.
I will teach my daughter the sacrifices
her mother and her mother and her mother made.
I will stitch my dreams and hopes and aspirations for her and this country,
into this fabric of love.
My daughter will wear it with pride
knowing that she is wearing the history of her family
and of her country.