The Educated Unknown

She didn’t have a birth certificate,
No name of her own, unknown
Harami is what they called her kind.
Hid away in the servants’ backrooms,
Under a black Burka and old clothes.
Her father unknown, her mother well-known.
But she would learn.

Listening carefully daily while cleaning the house,
She heard and recited the words from the books taught by the teachers.
She memorized the poems, letters and stories and
In the dead of midnight, would recite them.
She hungrily sat at the cook’s feet when everyone was gone,
The mean old lady who taught her to read, with head slaps for mistakes made.
Old newspapers, books or notes were stolen then returned,
And the magical numbers helped her know her age.
She knew that one day she too would go to school,
Read new books and have a school uniform just like everyone else.

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