Poem: The Stone and the Woman

onlywhenwomensingThe Stone and the Woman

A Poem by Carole R. Fontaine from her book “Only When Women Sing: Poems on Human Rights”

A Poem by Carole R. Fontaine from her book “Only When Women Sing: Poems on Human Rights”

(In the Islamic Republic of Iran, stones used for public executions must be neither too large, nor too small; proper stoning requires that the stone must be just the right size in order to cause serious pain and injury without killing the victim too rapidly.)

How is a stone

Different from a woman?

Just the right size,

One makes death;

And woman,

Made to give life,

Cruelly dies…

Her age? No matter.

Her crime? Look at her:

Defense against a rapist

Or peddler of her flesh?

Just choose the crime

That looks the best

As index of social morality,

And pile up the stones

Of brutality.

Not too big:

She will die too soon.

Not too small:

She must bleed and swoon

From the pain

All gather to see.

O, Defenders of Morality!

You soil the Qur’an

With impunity,

So eager to make your world

Safe from sin,

You re-enact it again and again.

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