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Poem: ‘The Crescent Moon With Red Stripes’

3 min read

by Sophia Khedekar

Sweet, tender memories I hold in my youth
With grandpa and grandma, mom, dad, and sis
Gatherings of togetherness and bliss
Learning our love for the red stripes
and our origins with the mysterious crescent moon
We grew to embrace this but perhaps too soon
For years of laughter and joy faded
And those sweet memories became jaded
When mom changed my world that day
Giving others new life’s way
New faces I met, new lives with new stories
New brothers and sisters for me to hold dear
Little did I know my worst tale was near

He said it was love, that it could be real
But I felt deep within that it could not be true
For our blood ran the same, it flows deep and dark
Still, he persisted, forever leaving a gashing mark
That only washed away when I met my true love
Yet it will linger on as a memory to rise above

What still remains makes my stance bewildered
Why do they still reach out to him
Knowing once what had transpired and choosing to filter
It wasn’t a game or a willful ordeal
But a tear to my being wrapped up in zeal
Perhaps days have passed and that is the reason
That I must stay quiet even though it is piercing

This tale runs the same
In different ways and different flames
You must face alone the pain
While the perpetrators still gain


Oh dear blood of our own
our brothers and sisters
You bring these twisted ideals
And expect us to kneel
As if man stands above all
Yet still the scum deserve to fall
How can you turn a blind eye
To my mother so strong
How can you choose these men
Over us women done wrong

The green and white flag
Swaying with the crescent moon and star
Should stay where you left it
It’s caused enough scars
For here in this land
Us women take what’s ours
For here in this land
The wicked must cower
For here in this land
our voice is heard.

Sophia Khedekar grew up as a second-generation Pakistani Punjabi Christian in the states, which was an exciting challenge, between juggling the cultures and breaking through and holding on to what served her most. Balancing the ideals of both societies and emerging as a strong woman has helped her gain perspective on how to persevere while smiling along the way. As far as her background goes in regards to Paki-ness, her mother sponsored over 30 people from Karachi to the US; her parents, siblings, and their kids at once to protect them from religious persecution. Although convincing her fellow desis that she really was Punjabi growing up attributed to my cultural identity struggle, and added to holding on to my religious roots, she’s ultimately settled down with an open mind. She’d like to share personal accounts that touch on the impact of her cultural blending experiences, as well as patriarchal aspects that encourage hiding sexual abuse, trauma, and minimizing psychological well-being. You can catch her getting critical medical devices out to those in need (her 9 to 5), chilling at a local lounge on weekends, painting, traveling and blogging.
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