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'Of A Broken Home'

Salman Shaheen




She walked the dirt-trodden road alone,
Who else would follow where she wandered now?
Her heart was laden, heavy as the cargo
About her waist.
Grief, despair, sorrow, bitterness, love-lost contempt.
Rage!
A childhood in a broken home,
Ten years behind her,
Now little more than rubble,
A haze-filled memory;
Footnote to a page in history.
Fallujah.

A bomber passed above her, history marched on,
And she, but a pebble to its tide, moved with it.
Her mind in shackles, she bore the key
About her waist.
Pain, fury, mourning, emptiness to passion-fuelled vitriol.
Revenge!
For a father shot at his door,
Sister - beaten - murdered;
As she lay hidden,
In a broken home.

She cried as she reached the checkpoint,
Where the soldiers turned their guns towards her.
But she shed no tears for a family lost.
Her adoptive parents - hatred and fear,
And she, their child, cried -
“Allahu akbar!”
She pulled the cord
About her waist,
As though it were a light-switch.
She switched off her light with semtex,
And her memory
Of a broken home
In Fallujah.


 

March 2005

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