Song for the Yazidi Women by Iris Anne Lewis

Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness?

We were terrified and ran to the mountains.

 

The beams of our house are cedar and our rafters are fir.

We stayed in a very dirty place, stinky and filthy.

 

Who is she that looketh forth as the morning?

They told us we would be sold.

 

We have a little sister and she hath no breasts.

Twelve years old, they raped her with no mercy.

 

I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley.

He tied my hands and legs and blindfolded me.

 

They have made me keeper of the vineyard.

I did all the work: cleaning, cooking, washing.

 

Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples.

They did not feed me for six days.

 

I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them?

If I washed, he would sleep with me.

 

I will rise now and go about the city.

The soldiers found me in the streets and brought me back.

 

Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

A smuggler was paid for helping with my release.

 

Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south.

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Source texts:

 Song of Solomon. The Bible, King James Version.

 The Yazidi Women Who Escaped ISIS. Photographs and Interviews by Seivan M. Salim.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/longforms/2015/isis/portraits-of-the-yazidi-women-who-escaped-isis.html. Accessed 29.3.17

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Iris Anne Lewis is a writer of short stories, poetry and radio scripts. She has been successful in both local and national competitions, as well as being published in magazines and anthologies. She has been invited to read her work at the Cheltenham Literary Festival and Swindon Festival of Literature.

Her writing is influenced by history, folk legends and myths, the landscape and the local community. Originally from Wales, she now lives in Gloucestershire.