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  • Frank Romans

August 9, 2010; Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN Report)

a poem adapted around the report, from the book, "murmurs," by Nancy Tinnell



salat-al-janazah prayers of the mourners

The Taliban has executed a pregnant widow

I am Sanam Gul

accused of adultery in western Afghanistan

iddah, emptiness, then the merciful gift

The 47-year-old woman, Sanam Gul

new love

also known as Sanam Bibi

spirit refreshed and restored

was killed in Badghis province

with a beauty like spring flowers

Saturday morning

patchworked on the northern hills

said Ashrafuddin Majidi the provincial governor's spokesman.

hope and new life carried within me

The district governor of Qades, Hashim Habibi

whispers, shouts and threats, "Adulteress!"

confirmed the execution.

the whip striped my flesh

He said the woman was accused of adultery that left her pregnant.

but you did not hear my screams

The Taliban shadow district governor, Mullah Abdul Hakim

filled with terror, I waited for death

and his judge ordered the woman to be executed, he said.

and thought of my unborn child

Mohammad Yousuf, a Taliban commander, carried out the execution

and the hope that would wither in the women who follow

shooting the woman in her head, Habibi said.


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