Vox Populi

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Majid Naficy: The Day Chador Is Not Forced 

The day will come when my sisters
No longer wear forced chadors.
Let that day be in summer
So that we can go for a picnic.

We will wrap the first chador as a bundle
And carry our goods in it.
We will spread the second as a carpet
And sit down on it.
We will use the third as a dining cloth
And eat our meals around it.

Then I will climb a mulberry tree
And my four unveiled sisters
Will each take a corner of the fourth chador
So that I can shake mulberries down on it.

How delicious it will be to eat mulberries
When my sisters no longer veil. 
On that day, chadors return to chests
And when posterity asks about this rite
It finds only mothballed fabrics.

Copyright 2022 Majid Naficy

Majid Naficy is the author of many books in Persian and English including Father and Son (Red Hen Press, 2003.)

In memory of Mahsa Amini, the recent victim of forced hijab in Iran.

10 comments on “Majid Naficy: The Day Chador Is Not Forced 

  1. melpacker
    October 7, 2022

    Excellent….but sad that it has to be written.


    • Vox Populi
      October 7, 2022

      I agree, Mel. It’s sad that the mass demonstrations are necessary, but I admire the women, and some men, who are standing up for women’s rights.



      • melpacker
        October 8, 2022

        As one who was there on the first anniversary of the revolution, it is increasingly sad for me as back then there was still some freedom of choice for women. Left/opposition political parties had not yet been outlawed (although the repression had started) and there was still some hope that there might be more political and personal freedoms. As we know, those hopes were dashed. I have tremendous admiration for those willing to stand in the face of the Islamic state’s repression. It takes a courage all too lacking in so many.


  2. Rose Mary Boehm
    October 5, 2022

    An extraordinary poem, beautiful, poignant and moving. Shared.


  3. Sean Sexton
    October 5, 2022

    Such a wrongful world that brings forth such beauty (also Abby’s post). I don’t know if the human creature has more to recommend it now than it did thousand years ago. I fear we’ve not taken a single step forward—we’re nothing if not the creature of strife.
    All this said, and it is so apparent in this woman’s words, Poetry may be the sole, enduring—even if not saving—thing we have to turn to. It is faith.


    • Vox Populi
      October 5, 2022

      Thanks, Sean. The author is an Iranian man living in Los Angeles, encouraged that the women of his homeland are rising up against injustice.



  4. Ruqia Ismat
    October 5, 2022

    So sorry for the suffering of that young girl


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