Unsung Lullaby


A couple great women have inspired this piece, of which include my dearest friend Huma whose awesome blog and poem on the Peshawar Attack can be read here, as well as the exceptionally talented poet and writer, Sheniz Janmohamed, whose brilliant poem “My people killing my people,” can be listened to here.

This poem was also inspired by a Pashto proverb that goes as follows:

When a child dies, you bury them in your heart… … he only dies the day you die.


I died the day you died, zaRgiya*
I died and buried you into the deepest crevices of my once-beating heart
It was only yesternight when you asked me,
“Morr jaaney, will you sing me a lullaby one more time?”
I never sang you your last lullaby, my love
I should have stayed longer
Sung longer
Loved longer
I should have cradled you in my arms,
And told you stories well into the early morn
I sensed our doom
It tried to grab me by the neck
And suffocate me
So that I could not breathe
I sensed you digging your fingernails into my flesh
As loathing loomed over us
And made the shadows cower in fear
I felt my flesh tear and burn
With each scream, with each whimper
Creating scars all over my shattered body
I could not reach you,
You were too far away
Trapped in another dimension
I saw them come for you
Like venomous serpents
Poisoning and destroying everything,
That was once sweet and pure
I should have been there when they came
And held you tightly against my bosom
As they cried “Allahu Akbar!”
And snatched you away from me
“They were your people,” I was told
My people killing my people
Over and over and over again
Cracked lips,
Kohl mixed with blood
I bury my face into the wet earth
Breathing; only breathing,
And eternally whisper your name
Like an unheard prayer,
Like the last lullaby I never sang to you,
For, today I died with you

© SesapZai 2014

*ZaRgiya (emphasis on the ‘r’) means “sweetheart” or “dearest one” in the Pashto Language

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