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I was 18 when they married me

I was 18 when they married me,
16 when I died:
15 and my hopes were full,
14, eyes still wide –
And all the time that went before
Was childhood in its dreams:
Their hands were light, they guided me,
Their truths were what they seemed.

Yet though the hours are filled up now
I sometimes see a light,
And kneeling down before my God
I puzzle on their ‘right’:
Their expectations moulded me,
I couldn’t fight their lies –
I struggled for a moment
Then died without surprise.

So what hope is there for my child,
Born to their bounded hell?
Though my eyes are opened now,
Will hers stay closed as well?

Where I used to live girls of 14 were still full of wide-eyed innocence; at 15 they had hopes and dreams; but at 16 (for a few of them in very traditional, unthinking families) something died inside as it was made clear to them what their future would be. By 18 they were married and pregnant. In decent families the arranged marriage concept was altogether different.

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