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The Burning Bride (Poem)

The Burning Bride

Its been a winding journey

for me…

I watch the waves of golden lights






I fall down…

Aching memories starts to reel…


I saw my father and I,

treading moments of love,

discovering the naked field

filled with mango trees on bloom.

I saw my mother and I,

drawn to the shimmering wonders

of the golden heart-shape fruits

ready to harvest.

…my wedding…

every women’s dream,

the greatest event in my life-

bonding kinship

and enormous resources…

the hall,

the ceremony,

the feast…

I saw my groom and I

making every wishes to the stars,

never letting go of the love we’ve found.


I thought i had found the greatest story it will ever told.

Only now that I realize…

It was only I who loved….

I am here lying,

wrapped in a kerosene soaked sari.

The burning cloth on my skin

sends tons of pains to my bones.

My husband watches me from afar

Is he thinking of my pain too?

Or only my price tag that isn’t enough for him…..

All i can feel is pain, pain and more pain….

The love of my husband is measurable,

equivalent to a price tag….

and mine is not enough…..


my journey is over…

the mountain of flame blasts and takes away my last breath

Out my ashes lives a memory…

An ill-fated burning bride’s tragedy…

waiting to be told.

The Burning Bride—© Airyn R. Lentija 2010
(This poem was published in Human Rigths and Culture-an e-pubication of the Asian Human Rights Commission)


jadefrank's picture

a woman's worth

Dear Airyn,

This is a beautiful, sad and thought-provoking poem. You are a gifted writer and the story you have told is one that needs to be talked about more - so that we can work to change the notion that one can put a price on a woman's worth - and when that price isn't good enough, that violence is an accepted form of a husband's greed and frustration.

I hope that you will share more of your poetry with us. Whose story is this Airyn - is it your story, the story of someone close to you, or the story of millions of women who cannot tell it themselves?

In friendship,

Airyn Lentija's picture


Dear Jade,

Thank you so much for your feedback on this poem.I wrote this for the women who were killed by their own family,by thier in laws,by their own husbands and for those who comitted suicide because of issues regarding DOWRY.I especially offered this poem to Indian women.

No,this isnt my story.I'll share more of my works in the future.It is a great honor for me to write for the abused women all over the world who cant speak for themselves.

Im hoping for our friendship to grow.

Airyn Lentija-Sloan

Carri Pence's picture

Another amazing poem that

Another amazing poem that gives us a genuine sadness for an issue that has and is still impacting so many lives. I moved this poem to our group Ending Gender Based Violence. If you are not a member of the group I encourage you to do so, the group is located here Thanks so much for your amazing messages that touch us on a profound level. Please write more and be active with our GBV group.

Airyn Lentija's picture


Thank you again Carri.I just did and i hope to do my best to be of help to many voiceless women.

Take care and talk soon:)

Airyn Lentija-Sloan

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