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‘Lil’ Ma’am Child-Bride’ – by Shaheen Sultan Dhanji

(friends, this small contribution is an agony to witness a child-bride being sold to a tribal man thrice her age in various countries, practice is often referred as ” Child-Bride” in tribal systems…ssd)

Lil’ Ma’am, for you dreams were created inside a dropped eyelid,
thousand mirrors behind you:
No, you do not have to be awake to see dawn -
matters swell in the accordian of memory,
between tongue’s dried blood and breath.

Lil’ Ma’am, how much did they pay for your laughter and tears?
of the swollen womb
in the allegory of ardour
to convalesce?

And, did they listen to your voice when you were silent
in your petite silhouette when you walked barefoot on thorns?


when your innocence at age eleven was compromised by the proof –

splash of red drops -

left alone… to wash off the stains between the white bed sheet

and your wounded flesh.

Between the crevices of your heart,
from kiln of flames
you gave birth
kept your anguish in a mother-of-pearl box.

You resurrect,
from conviction –



cmphung's picture


Shaheen, thank you for this incredibly moving poem. Your words were incredibly powerful. You were able to capture the essence of the pain and anguish a child must feel. I think it is horrible how young girls continually are sold/forced to be child brides. More needs to be done to stop the practice of treating humans as objects, goods to be traded and discarded.

Keep writing and using your words to bring light to this situation.

Charlene Phung MPH

SSD's picture

Thank you !

Dear Charlene,

First, my sincere apology for a delayed response !

Thank you for your kind comment through which I inspire to continue my lil' strife for justice. It is through people like you, with whom I would like to incept creative and intelligent dialogue where we can unite and cultivate a space for making a difference.
I completely agree that more needs to be done.
There are many akin minds here on World Pulse, we MUST look for a similar project to embark where we can use our skills and experiences in lighting a path to obscurity in the lives of those who need it.

Blessings and love,

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