London in a Headscarf


Poem by guest writer Rujina Akther.

London in a Headscarf

Rujina Akther

In front of the mirror I stood
wondering if the headscarf made
my head look as big as the Gherkin.
But I remembered the eye of the
mirror watching,
the strings in my heart
tightened and the rain sprinkled within
me like a Lotus coming into flower.

With the spring sun covering the streets
of London, the sun’s flares polished my scarf
like the Queen’s crown.
I swayed my (new) hair to the caress of the breeze,
and the tassels bounced back on my cheeks.
A rainbow spread across my lips as
I could taste the beauty of the world
with my faith together,
until I took a step too many.

The eyes of a thousand creatures,
edged towards me with stains on their faces.
What did I do wrong?!
I felt a bitter breeze shot through me
as they caged me down with their glares.
As if I was bald? Or wore a balaclava?
Flames inside me grew increasingly,
who were they to tell me what
shoes to wear with what flippin’ outfit?!

But I saw the eye of the mirror watching
in the shop window,
I felt the rain deteriorate the storm within,
returning the rainbow to me.
I fluttered away like a jewel butterfly,
leaving a signature of my faith.