FREEDOM – Candice Daquin

Are we free?

The girl asked

Her wrists were unshackled

she did not have her hymen sewn shut or clitoris removed

by a shard of glass

so comparatively she felt like she ought

to be free

there were no brands upon her back nor was she jailed

for loving another girl and sentenced to die by stoning for her

transgression of the heart

she did not possess the stain of scarlet letter nor

acid thrown in her face for speaking out, or driving a car

she was not expected to wear a veil or a wig nor consigned to

a prayer room far from the temple main

she had not been inculcated with shame


something still

a cardinal among pigeons flashing red

the sense something still was unsaid

a feeling if she were raped and left for dead

a baby growing like demon in her belly could not

be exorcised because according to the laws of her own country

her body was not a crime scene but

an inviolate where the innocent must be born

she felt an unease at the thought

if a rapist wished to own her for the rest of her life

the very easiest way would be to ensure she did not abort

his menace nor own her own rights to do what she would

with her body

and though it was not 1972 still women fought, still they called out

against injustice throughout the world

there are no boundaries or separations

if her sisters in Africa and the Middle East

were still straining against the wrath of men

and rules and religious excuses for condemnation and

keeping down one gender

then she was not free

nor even when she had the power of her society and

this life in 2019 she was not free

for it only took

one misstep and she was walking in the shoes of those

who are not free

who still bear the scars and carry the children and the shame

she was not free to be herself

as long as they whisper from the fringes

and two women cannot love in seventy percent of the world


some cannot drive, or own their own property

their brothers and fathers and husbands instead

control the key

these women who are rising from the ashes

will one day have her rights and when they do

all of them will be free but until that day

when she sees her sisters in India being raped

for peeing in the field because there is no bathroom

being told you asked for it because you were unattended

you bring shame upon your family

we would love to burn your broken body

and make paste from your white bones

she sees no freedom in her gender

her race of women, black, brown, hues of suffering

and caste and judgement

she sees no freedom in those women taught

to keep others down and shame them into subservience

she sees no freedom in knowing she can board a plane and go

anywhere in the world

but not as a free woman no

taking her life into her own hands

even when on the news reporting from Egypt

Lara Logan was dragged off and, in a circle,

raped with fingers, penis and objects because

they were angry at the Western world and as they saw it

sluts with blonde hair and blue eyes who

spoke when they were not given permission so let’s

fuck them up real good and show them who is boss

something hated can never have power

or perhaps? If other women grow in numbers

stop thinking feminism is a dirty word or

you are necessarily a lesbian if you support other women

if other women who are 51 percent stand up for

those women who fight to gain equality

then as the world changes from rape and molestation and destitution

and poverty and the inequity of one strong enough to

take what they want of another

then we may be free

but until this day

there is no freedom even if we can report a crime

or write a book or believe briefly we are equal

it is only in theory

until the moment we are all free

free to be women without fear, without rebuke



To read more of Candice Louisa Daquin’s work – The Feathered Sleep and at Whisper and The Roar. You can also follow her Facebook – Candice Louisa Daquin The Feathered Sleep.

11 thoughts on “FREEDOM – Candice Daquin

  1. Pingback: FREEDOM – Candice Daquin — FREE VERSE REVOLUTION – TheFeatheredSleep

  2. I’ve have struggled with this since I came to the realization – These men hate their mothers ! Where does it come from? I think Gabor Mate’s theory about addiction applies here as well … it is the pain, they hate her not because of who she is, but because of who they are, the pain may be real but they choose the suffering


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