by Muhammad Shanazar
The spot where now I stand was empty,
Undisturbed for the years, only tufts of grass swayed,
But now filled in with a heap of fresh dug earth:
The grave of my brother.
The memories of the past have begun to emerge
As panic fishes come out upon the surface of the sea.
We slept on the same bed for a decade,
We played in the same yard together
Through the years of childhood,
We played hide and seek, ran after the butterflies,
Yes, together in the mustard farms,
We ran through the streets while monsoon rains rained,
We stood under the spouts to have the most delicious bath.
O! Brother you explained to me
The mysteries with the childish wisdom,
“The stars are the shinning rivets,
The moon and the sun: the loaves of gold and silver,
And twilight the crimson particles of dust.”
O! Brother you laboured, you toiled a lot
Against the odds of life, at last you lost the race
Trudging through the quagmire of misfortunes.
O! Brother you are fortunate for you have got
The place in the feet of your mother,
You have been entrusted to the grave
Amid the sobs, shrieks and cascades of tears,
With all religious obsequies, all threw handfuls of earth,
And some performed the obligation with shovels.
I see into future we who remain behind are not sure
What fate we shall meet, whether we shall have graves
Or our bodies will lay unburied with the scavengers around;
Who knows when itchy leprous fingers will activate
The nuclear or chemical devices, the world will change into
An amphitheatre of corpses rotting in the hot sun.
Last updated June 24, 2011