For Milad

By Dr. Shahid Iqbal

Mother Kangaroo
Teach us the art of Pouch.
For we live in the Land of Snakes.
Snakes, that swallow, alive, our children.

Children, born out
Of eyes, not wombs.
Holy Tear Drops
Trickle down Mom’s Cheeks
And pierce Pa’s Heart.

Foretellers on seeing our
Foreheads, beat their
Foreheads.

Children.
Born children,
Grown Children,
Un-grown children.

Children.
Land of Children,
Sowing seeds of Children,
Reaping Crops of Children.

Children
Fresh Children.
Young Children,
Old Children.

Children.
Fathers of Children,
Mothers of Children,
Teachers of Children.

These Doves and Sparrows
I Hate them.
Why flowers blossom?
Burn them.
Tell a spring day,
Come not my way.

For grief is our Master,
We sell and buy Sorrow.
These burning Eyes
And weeping Candles.
From our fields we
Reap sighs and moans.

Day, do not break
Let the Night clad our days.
With every dawn that
I see, I see fear
With every Dusk that
I bade, I bade a tear.
Scream, for Songs are Lies.
Weep, for Dance is a Disturbance.

Milad, sleeping on his
Death Bed, caught hold
Of my hand, and Whispered
In my ear, Ha, Bury me
In our playground
For some day I may
Get up and play with
My Playmates.
They owe me a turn,
A Game.

Dr. Shahid Iqbal is a medical doctor based in Kashmir.

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