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in the family

keep them, her mother said.
these secrets arenít for all.

no one dares to question it,
sewn up like ritual demands.

she takes up the accorded place,
playing the role, a fatherís bride.

blood begets blood, untainted.
A small price, an idiot child.

betrayal cuts deep, open-veined,
spilling over the courtyard stones.

one chance. china dolls break,
thin arms begging embrace.

laid out beside a kissing cousin,
she waits for a reprieve.

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© Marziya Mohammedali, 2001-2013