Poetry from Rubina Akter

To Be Her Child


You need eyes opened to mayhem,

her oldest and newest lacerations,

ears that hear slaps of sorrow or shrieks,

a nose that detects her bleeding,

her hopelessness both of you can taste,

a body to witness all of it.


Divine Love

A thousand letters of love, was it a thousand?

Meticulously torn into a thousand pieces

thrown into a darkness, into angry rain,

cleansing almost, against her willowy figure

and hard obsidian filled waters.

In love with something he will never know,

refusing the pleasure of being with her.

On the brink, a cliff, not ready to be a man,

he turns to the God he so despised,

finds purpose, she will never understand.

He has fallen in love with the divine.





The child smiles,

Welcome, come in.

Perches herself on the lap

of a family friend,

his calloused hands explore her.

She doesn’t understand.


The child waits,

for Mother to arrive.

Young, naive, disbelieving.

Her only protector,

tells her to stay.

God, she doesn’t want to stay.


Rubina Akter is an undergraduate student at Temple University. She has loved writing since elementary school when she was chosen to write a book for the Young Authors Conference. More recently, she was awarded first place in poetry for The Muslim Inter-Scholastic Tournament (MIST) ™. Poet Amy Small-McKinney, who has urged her to start sharing her writing with the world, is her mentor. She lives in Lansdale, PA with her family.