Slowly he faded
Into the corner
of a street
where the grocer
sold vegetables
through the back-door
Of a curfewed city

His face
Drawn in her memory
For eternity and
the last time.
She waited that night
Cradling the pillow
where his head once rested
Her hands shaped like hope
Cradling a person not yet memory,
A voice,
Not yet echo that would not fall,
But tear.
Through this silence.
Nights in the occupied land,
Are brutal
Memories project in hearts
of the men and women
who lost their loved ones
through separation or
Or a promise that never came.
Days of joy unshackled by this grief
Haunt her like a never-ending nightmare
There’s no pause to regain your hold on the joy that once was,
No fast forward to another place where joy may someday live,
There is only truth,
And in its quest like life, goes on.
She kissed the stamped photo
of his school identity card
Not expired yet,
But what was left now
Lingered somewhere between
Everything and nothing.

She now cradled his memory,
In the jails she’d searched,
In the screams escaping torture camps,
The smell of slaughter houses,
And the offices,
Of the oppressors that reeked,
Of deceit and blood stained – foot prints,
Of the bodies they had torn from this land.
But she reached the almighty,
hope sprung from shrines
And barren caves
Gathering her broken soul.
Wa’ina ma al usri yusra
AndΒ with hardship their is relief

The night was nearing end,
the dusk was near
the crescent moon lay hidden
And she was cloaked.
The festering wounds,
Slowly ceasing to hurt,
And her eyes lit up,
As though she knew where he would be,
At last, her quest would end.
Months before,
She told the gathering of butterflies
in the park with smudged flowers of red
To keep fighting and struggle
until there cries and soft tears
were redeemed with tranquility
Her mortality had left her empty
But now she would meet her
child, she would cradle him
forever, and there would be no street corners
where his memory would fade.
The Sun-rose that day,
Clouds with hues of red
rose over Zabarvan,
the Jhelum heaved loudly
as if tears had parched her banks
the men took her on their shoulders
to the streets where she once took him on hers
And they lay her to rest.
A smile, on her face,
she had met him on her way
And there were no street corners,
on which his memory would fade.
His face
Drawn in her memory
For eternity and
the last time…



With San’aa Sultan.


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