We Were Not Always This Way

January 6, 2008
By Elizabeth Yang, Coquitlam, ZZ

A sidelong glance,
Tells many things mentally,
Yet outside, what one can see is not much.
The barren room,
Which contains merely,
A worn, looming, tall cupboard
Two toshaks,
Only straw, mud, and matting,
Lying on the exhausted wall,
While the ghosts of the beautiful,
Intricate patterns of the once wondrous
Carpets, wander around aimlessly,
The stuffy, torrid room.
With nowhere to go…
The ancient squares,
Replaced forcefully by projecting strands of straw and careless splotches of mud…
The attractive circles and triangles,
Substituted with rough, course, material,
Ever so queer and horrible
One wouldn’t even wish to know the name of it…
A child’s once cheery finger sways pompously here and there,
Suddenly shimmers and dissolves,
My dear- it’s just a memory,
No longer here…
Just a few footsteps here and there…
The spirits of the furniture,
Screaming for help,
As they were snatched away,
Through the smoke of the bombs…
The unclear, dirty fog of loss…
Oh cold, icy cement floor!
Oh shabby cupboard!
Oh despicable, shameful matting!
How may you come here to choose
ME of all people
In Afghanistan,
ME of all people,
To fall upon the hands of
This –THIS- kind of fate!
Every inch of the dusty, dilapidated floor
Comes to life,
As the broom the child holds,
Sweeps until forever,
Having knowledge of every single spot,
Of that old, tattered room, ten steps one way,
And twelve steps another way…
There’s no escape is there?
The flush of the toilet,
Oh so loud,
Oh so nerve-racking
The stench of the lavatory
Burns the nostrils,
Causing remembering of the past,
Where a modern Western toilet,
Stood firmly in its place,
A minute propane cookstove,
With the odour of the lavatory,
Just to make sure one family can breathe in fresh air,
Coming from the tiny, courageous vent,
Up ever so high in the wall!
And the reluctant water tank,
Crouching like an old grandpa,
In the lavatory too…
After all…
It’s merely a metal drum,
Holding five pails of water,
With it’s companion the water basin next to it too,
Waiting and waiting,
To be free…
To be free from what?
The Taliban of course!
But why wait?
Why wait?
Why not fight?
Why must we be here,
Wandering around like lame ghosts,
Pain stuck like a nail in our dead hearts,
Why must we stay put!
Alas, alas…
It won’t work will it?
Let the room be the room it ought to be,
Let the climate be dry,
Let us die!
Oh let us die!
Or if you must make us live,
Why not try and make our
Surroundings a better place!
A little bit more bearable…
Just a little bit…

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This article has 1 comment.

ioveyou said...
on Aug. 26 2008 at 1:45 am
that is really good i wish i could write that well


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