Poem and photo by S M Chen, posted 4-28-2016 by D Kovacs

Afghan woman, Kandahar, 1960s. Taken by S M Chen.

Afghan woman, Kandahar, 1960s. Taken by S M Chen.

What is it lies behind the eyes?

What could it be she’s thinking of?

Might it be children?  Perhaps love?

Or maybe truth, and maybe lies.


What hopes and dreams within her lie?

What music in her may be found?

In her did they find fertile ground

Or did they go there just to die?


Her look takes in so many things.

What is it that she’s searching for?

Perhaps (or not) she seeks for more

Or is content with what life brings.


What thoughts run through the mind of her –

This woman from an ancient land?

This harsh forbidding land of sand

Some have tried but none could conquer.


It may be that she’s past her prime;

I cannot guess her age in years.

She’s lived a life of fear and tears;

They make one old before one’s time.


The veil enshrouds identity,

But those who hide behind a veil

Hide but awhile, to no avail;

Time grinds to dust what some might see.


She gazes out, but I gaze in

Beyond the veil, the face, the eyes.

It comes to me as no surprise

(And that is why I sympathize):

I find a place where I have been.

Sam Chen biopic