(Tetum-English translated version poem ‘Se Mak Feto Ba O?’. Dedication to the International Women’s Day on March 8)
When she walks along the street
You gaze at her with lust, and then you whistle and call her ‘beautiful’!
When she does not turn around, you call her ‘arrogant’
If she does turn around, then in hasty, you turn out mute completely
Like the hand that hides away, right after throwing a stone
If you do want to praise her, dignify her with respect instead.
You call her ‘darling’ then take her to the beach
You promise her the dream of tomorrow in exchange for her trust
In the sweet words, you ask her to give her whole self to you
Somehow, this is not what she actually seeks.
She does need your hands, to push her facing the mystery of tomorrow
Show her instead, how can she not surrender to chase the dream?
You call her ‘daughter’ from your own flesh and blood
Yet your love is greater for the son only
You teach her, that her destiny is to serve
You value her youth with earthly wealth
At the end, she bears the entire burden alone
Because of the one who do not value her with a vow of true love
You call her ‘wife’, the one who should fear and serve you until her last breath
You are therefore her possessor, as the dowry has been handed over
Indeed, your dowry is no more precious than her soul, a most beautiful soul of all
To you, she is a whole life companion, a companion for your body, heart, and soul
With her faith, hope, and perseverance
Despite most of the times, you throw and slap her with your own fear and anger
With sharp hands and words, you hurt her body and soul
Then you let her heal her pain alone
Why do you not guard her, as does the tree sheltering the flower?
Who is a woman for you?
Have you tried to understand her in your mind and your soul?
What else things you found? Do ask!
VZ, Dili, March 4th, 2016