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If Only We Can Remember

If Only We Can Remember

My son took a bath
put on new clothes,
left home,
riding a horse
like a prince;
came home
as kilos of ripped flesh.

one foggy winter day,
some two decades ago,
my brother
lost his fingers;
an eagle feasted
on his eyes.

meadows, haunted hamlets
where the grass grows uphill-
armed men storm the village
and take men out of their houses,
beat them
and force them to carry their stock.

they have replaced with heavy motors,
like Bofors and missiles,
less noisy weapons like LMG and MMG,
we can sleep now.

In case of a misfire,
village houses
and flesh of horses
would often go up in dust;
blood and bones will become dark smoke.

Deadly smoke,
thick over the
sky,
darkened by the terror.

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houses abandoned by the people
who disappeared into shadows,
hiding in caves with war-blown faces
and faded in rubble
and ashes;
they don’t want to go home.

dreams of innocence are armed for slaughter,
ignorance spread itself like rot.

If only we can remember
they will not forget
the stories of life
lost in the gloom of dust.

we keep on going where we meant to go
walking forward in the darkness.

we have died enough now,
being dead did no good—
live,
let us defeat them by surviving,
thriving, living.

See Also

what will dead do to azadi?
we must live

death made us weak?
made us lovers?
and weepers?


(This poem was published in the September 2020 print issue of Mountain Ink.)

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