Sari Blouse

Sari blouse

some 40 years old

Each time

I wear you

I wear you out

Your sparkling bits


with moves of my body

Leaving glue marks

like rust

on glass-nylon


I can’t remember

the number of times

You were worn

back then

It was

before I was born

But in those times

there was Pride

gleaming through

your transparent sleeves


like the bow

clasping the point

of your V-back

And the accomplished originality

of placing

bit by bit

sparkling specks in shapes of bows

on front and back

Bringing out the life of a black sari



of a requirement of love


And yet

that black glass-nylon sari

was not quite

in line

with the chilling black burkha[1]


by the Ishnashari[2] clan

of an Ishnashari lover

some 40 years back


it worked

It was accepted

And that was because of pride

Pride in being one’s self

And that was the accomplishment

Of my path-breaking Aunt

Killed so young

driving the car from Jinja to Kampala

some 40 years ago.

Your black glass sari

and shimmering blouse

I wear them

like as if I knew you

Wear them out

Like as if you had lived.


from Voices of Resistance – Muslim Women on War, Faith & Sexuality (Seal Press: 2006), pp. 204-205

[1] The full body and face covering worn by some women of some Muslim sects.

[2] A Shia sect of Islam.



2 responses to “Sari Blouse

  1. Your poetry is so visual! It really paints a picture and I loved reading this piece. Congratulations on getting it published! It’s well deserved!



  2. Wow Sally. What a capturing poem. I felt so close to that sari i could touch it, smell it & feel it in my minds eye.

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