POETS’ CORNER : From Syria, With Despair

17th Jul 2015

From Syria, With Despair

If you let your thoughts linger awhile
You will remember my innocent smile
Soft eyes, twinkling to beguile

I welcomed you to the Haram with a grin
Shared sweets as you sat within
My brother in faith, closer than kin

Until the day my laughter died
And you vanished, breaking all ties
Oblivious to my desperate cries

As my mother’s wounded body trembled in pain
Death’s shadow stilling her beautiful face
How I screamed for you – but you never came!

Where were you when I was dragged, weeping
From the black smoke and endless shelling
As the blaze destroyed my life, memories, everything!

How long did I lie by my mother’s corpse
Buried in the rubble and ash of war
Wondering if you ever cared at all!

Night after night, I tucked my head between my knees
Trying to block out the fear and grief
Silently pleading for the solace of sleep

Yet, never did I despair, until I had to flee
To become one of millions of Syrian refugees
Suspended in utter misery, utter poverty

Once, you had been the stranger and from within
The children of Lady Zaynab’s love took you in
Your prayers ascended upon their laughter’s wings

And when innocent laughter turned to agony,
Did you respond to the children’s pleas?
Or did you look away, cover your ears,
Ignore their screams and tears?

Fatema Valji

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