The women outside the wall

Pinched faces in the cold,

Old women, middle aged, young.

They do not look at one another.

They wait, together, disconnected,

Wrapped in their separate hopes

For husbands, sons, fathers, friends,

Inside the wall they stand outside.

Waiting in solitude, in isolation,

In silent protest, stolid resignation,

Rejecting what they are offered, refusing despair

In the blank face of that wall,

The unspoken sentence.

They stand there in the cold

In their headscarves, in their hats, in semi-freedom,

Afraid, but there, standing and waiting.

I would tell you their names, their stories,

But the list has been lost, censored, confiscated, disregarded.