They are hearing us

For the people of Iran who live under Internet and telephone censorship.

Day before yesterday
when Zeenat called
said the website is censored, they are watching,
her hushed voice quivered.

I know if we spoke again,
thick copper wires
mapped below her house
meshed under the pavements
will hear us again,
their plastic shells
would begin to echo
to the men who hook them under streets,
they will laugh as she will bleed
like copper wires make you do.

My swollen finger tips with sore skin
once crawled on my desk to reach balm
when I first pulled copper wires
on my rosewood guitar,
wires echo and make you bleed.

I fear those men, with rims of copper wire
enough to strangle a country
would send her voice
to radio and TV;
those men, will pull Zeenat
from the ropes of her black hair
wrapped around their fists
drag her from her chair,
for speaking to a tall foreign man
on wires of nation and religion.

In her land where freedom is more
and voices are heard every day,
Zeenat and her friends
are being heard
by men who don’t cry
but laugh when others do.

Last time we met
I gave Zeenat scissors to cut hair
she refused,
I gave cotton plugs for ears
she took.

As wires turn warm
and websites censored,
we may never speak again;
she lives in Iran.

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Sumeet Grover

Sumeet Grover is the founder of Global Poetry, dedicated to creativity, human dignity, dialogue and global citizenship. He is a winner of the Portico Brotherton Open Poetry Prize 2014 and was shortlisted for the Jane Martin Poetry Prize in 2014 & 2015. He has authored three books of poetry: Signals (2017), House Arrest & Disobedience (2015) and Change (2011). Grover is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment.

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