No.15 Poems for International Women’s Day 2015

                         Hijab Me

Under this creation in polyester

this Paisley pattern of swirls and curves

and icing white wedding cake coloured dots

all pinned up with Pound Shop clips

bejewelled and bedazzled

is me.

Here I am

My eyes aren’t always downcast

like I have no spirit

of fire and anger

nor is my mouth always sealed

and shut in modesty.

My hair swirls too.

It moves in one combed mass

in one slow motion wave

Inviting a touch, a caress


Last August when the sun scorched

dog waste pavements

my sister had her Mehndi party

in the sports hall

above the mosque and Tesco

My mum and sisters were dressed in Primark’s best

Elsie from next door came

She saw we had hips

that moved like hers

and hair that swings

and bare arms strong to carry plates of hot samosas


and real china plates.

were toned from bin pushing

and moulding  rolling chapattis.

She touched my hair.


My hijab

like a hoodie’s hood

reminds me of who I am

and where I want to belong

I can be in myself


Me as Woman

Woman as Me.

My senses converge in the space between my brain

and my chin

and without my head covering

I may look like someone else

But I can assure you it’s me.