Saturday, July 15, 2006

After the Wedding

Hamat missed all the excitement
For which he had been thirsting,
But when his wild-eyed friends
Gave him the news, he sprinted
The last three miles, lungs bursting.

Yes, it was true.
The drum beats had been stilled,
All singing stopped.
There were no petals left
In the stinging dust.

He found Fatima first,
Upto her neck in broken stone,
His mother stared blankly
At the spot some yards away
Where her severed hand still lay.
She was not alone.

Shaffi sprawled close by his wife.
In all his forty years,
He’d never been so legless in his life.

Scattered all around,
Hamat’s three brothers
And his three sisters,
In so many broken pieces.

There, lying in all his pride,
Uncle Samir in his wedding robe,
The smartest he had ever been,
Torn to shreds and soaked
In the blood of his bride.

How could this come to pass?
Hamat has no time to stop and to ask,
Tearing at rubble
With bloodied hands.
Their fading voices
Are all he hears.

Perhaps the bomb itself
Was at fault or
Perhaps the pilot himself
Was blinded by his own tears?

It could have been any wedding in Lebanon, Iraq or Palestine, but this one was in Afghanistan, wiped out by one of those 'smart' bombs, delivered by the 'cousins'.

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