I’m a Writer, a Hijabi Writer

Trigger warning: Islamophobia

I’m a writer.
I write poems.
I think and ponder over
a starry cluster of
metaphors and similes
and which word
rhymes best with the verses
I choose to adorn my poems with.

And yet
I’m a writer
with a cloth draping my head.

They reckon that the cloth
on my head doesn’t let me
think, choose, make decisions
for myself.

I’m a writer.
I write about women’s rights too.
With indignation for injustice
with resentment for misogyny
and a passion for empowerment.

I’m a writer
with a cloth draping my head.

While oppressing me
they think I’m oppressed
by taking away my right to wear this cloth,
and no one’s speaks for me
but me
because I’m a writer
and I write about women’s rights too.

I’m a writer
who writes about mental health.
I advocate for mental health
with an exclusion of
stigma and romanticisation.
While my own mind is
to insensitivity
and to Islamophobia.
Desensitised but
not tolerant to injustice.

I’m a writer.
A hijabi writer
whose pen doesn’t run out of ink,
whose mind doesn’t run out of ideas,
whose paper doesn’t run out of verses
even while wearing the hijab.

They cannot
limit my mind
even if they limit my freedom–
I know my rights well.

Amna Mannan is a writer and a poet.

Featured image: Unsplash