Janet I. Buck is a professor of English and the author of four collections of poetry. Her work, which often deals with human sorrow, suffering, and grief, has been published in hundreds of journals and anthologies world-wide. After visiting the RAWA site, Buck was moved to write some poems in tribute to the women who are suffering at the hands of the Taliban regime. As a poet, her hope is to underline their courage in the face of such adversity. For links to more of her poetry, please go to the following links:

http://members.aol.com/jbuck22874/whatsnew.html
http://www.janetbuck.com

Strappado


You tell me in Afghanistan
women paint their fingernails,
have manicures as secretly
as rainbows stalk a thunderhead.
Bodies hanged to thread a point --
symbols of psychotic sockets
grab whatever graces them.
If 9/11 woke me up
to nightmares you have worn
like clothes, then grit will act
and dust to dust will hurl
the tyrant from his throne.
Love should render hate a eunuch
scrambling to find his balls.

We've never had our emerald grass
yellowed by peine forte et dure.
I hesitate to lift black wool --
let you bleed on ivory skin.
But this regime -- this muscled
horror -- has amputated liberty.
I limp on tent pegs of your home,
reduced to toothpicks digging up
the old decay, uncross
my granted thighs and stand.

Behind your shrouds
lie prisoned dream states
sculpted 'til they donít exist.
You mention rape --
as common as a wing-less fly.
Conch of woman isn't meant
to be a tear duct
channeling abiding terror.
You were never born to be
an ash tray for their penises.