Our voices remained muffled until first gunfire.
Our voices drowned now by the factory machines, by the rumble of ploughs, by the roughened edges of endless laundry.
Our voices are in our heads; our opinions are soundless echoes of inequality and hardship whispered in the shadows of our mind. I see it in the blank, unsmiling faces of the other women around me. They too know that such thoughts are selfish; such thoughts are for traitors.
Our voices represented by our husbands – their voices are the shaking guns held in young and bloody hands, their voices are the weeping unseeing eyes of fallen friends, voices of urine-soaked boots and mud-mound pillows.
Our voices are the transmitted crackle of wireless, of political promises, of fairer wages and fairer roles. But these battles are for another day, for today we build replacement components for death-machines and weave the fabric of khaki, green and blue – knowing it will be stained another colour soon enough.
Our voices are hushed tones in the Underground, as we embrace with every whistle-fall of bomb and crack of tracer-fire.
Now is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Our voices are for tomorrow.