Feminine Legacy

She had traveled to six different continents

flown, cruised, driven, motorcycled and hiked

had walked inside the empty pyramids of Giza
marveled at the Sphinx
and the Coliseum in Rome.
Toured Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica,
hiked up steep mountainous cliffs
to the monasteries in Meterora.

Sailed down the Rhine
waved at The Lorelei
crossed the St. Charles Bridge in Prague.
Motorcycled around the Southern rim of the Grand Canyon
and witnessed the beauty of the fall colors.

She had climbed up steep steps
on the Great Wall of China
and posed for a picture
in front of Cristo Redento in Rio de Janeiro.

She had survived hordes of hungry flies
driving in a rental car
to swim in the great barrier reef in Australia
and along the way had shared dinners with
doctors, lawyers, teachers
seniors and exchange students
some robust and others on their last leg.

She had inhaled the markets of Casablanca
sampled their wares, skirting old men
smoking stale cigarettes drinking strong coffee
holding fast to ancient beliefs
no longer relevant to anyone but them.

Ignorant men
trapped inside decaying walls
stinking of urine and fish guts.
where women
are traded and bred as cattle.
and the smart ones get locked away
in cliff towers, never to be seen or heard from again.

She knew that she was
one of the lucky ones
that this still goes on
today evidenced by

movies of women being stoned
by indifference and fear
innocent
courageous women

who dared to upset the status quo.

Good women and their daughters
discarded like trash
by uncaring husbands.

By fathers who would taunt their children to
eke a living from a stone field

who had summoned the courage

to work for a
widower’s paltry coins
and were later accused of sleeping
with their employer.

She witnessed the degradation
and the intolerance
saw a courageous soul stand up
and speak out, branded as crazy
the name Soraya forever etched
into her hard drive.

She had touched the stain
that is mankind
and still she
dared to hope.

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