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Poem: Dear Mama

Poem: Dear Mama

Author’s note: This poem was written in honor of a devastating attack on a maternity ward in Kabul. Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un.

Dear mama,

You chose to push me out from the darkness into the light.

As such I can never repay you back for the precious gift of life.

I sleep soundly dreaming of all that lies ahead of us as a family.

A collection of first and last milestones that we will recall happily:

My first day at school: you will kiss me in my shiny shoes and spotless uniform

My first skinned knees: you will apply anti-septic and bandage whatever is torn

My first feverish night: you will whisper duas nonstop as you sponge me down

My first mischief: you will be ready with a slipper in your hand and a frown

My last baby tooth: you will tell me that I am now responsible for all my actions

My last exam results: you will smile, and wish me luck in pursuing my passions

My last day unmarried: you will wish to reverse time back to when I was a boy

My last moments with you:  you will be surrounded by family, friends and joy

But for now, I am content to wait forever as you recover in the bed nearby

My nourisher, my sustainer; as long as you are there my worries are far away

But what is this new sound I hear? 

It is not the sound of your lullabies; it is the sound of fear.

Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop.

I hear people screaming now; I hear the darkness reappear.

Mama, I am afraid. Something bad is happening in this safe space.

Where are you? I miss your soothing touch and comforting embrace.

Please come to me.

Mama, I am hungry. The last drops of milk have dried up on my tongue.

Where are you? I miss your nourishing feed and lullabies still unsung.

Please come to me.

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Mama, I miss you. Your face fades away and I cannot remember it enough.

Where are you? I miss your tranquil smile and unconditional love.

Please come to me.

But you don’t come.

Instead, I am picked up by unfamiliar strangers.

Where are you? I sense nothing but danger.

They are crying and calling me an unfamiliar word.

Mama, will you please explain to me what I heard?

Ana Yateem, Ana yateem, Ana yateem

I am an Orphan.

17/5/20

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