I will not forget you in my prayers, brother
Nor shall I forget ever your mother, the way
She carried her wounded heart on her worn black stole
and beseeched the heavens not to fall today.
That wound shall remain and may not let heal her soul
Till that dawn of dawns ushers in, bringing glad tidings
Of her dear one and takes the ache away.
I will not forget that dawn in my prayers
The dawn that is a dream held in tears,
For which I have pledged to bow my head
Before a tapering minaret that wears
an ancient look and seems to hold up
the heavens, ever cloudy and red.
I will not forget your sisters in my prayers
Who weaved a piercing melancholy in layers
The henna faded on their hands
While you vanished to distant timeless lands
And the song at your funeral in their heart
shaheedo shaheedo treish ma lajyio
Yiman khoon zakhman ye beniiha lagyio (1)
I will not ever, ever forget you in my prayers
Not your parched lips, your blood and tears
That call for your mother, too far to hear.
Only she was holding her anxious heart at the doorway,
To fold you forever in her calm embrace.
No one told her that your clothes were drenched in blood.
All they told her was: he cried, “Muajay, Muajay … katti chhakh Muajay” (2)
And a faint smile clung tenaciously to his face.
(1) O martyr, my martyr are you thirsty
Your sister feels the pain of your wounds
(2) O mother, O mother… where are you O mother
First published in Reading Hour magazine (Jan-Feb. 2012 Issue)