They never came back once they left,
with promises to come back at night,
bringing smiles for kids, love for wives
and hopes for their parents too.
They never came back and those at home
kept the doors open all night,
their eyes kept looking far across the fields,
scanning any shadow that flitted across,
praying it would be their loved one.
They never came back and the search
never ended as days heaped up while months and years went by.
Here, eyes kept waiting, looking across the fields
made hazy, by the tears that never lessen.
Ah they have been found now
sleeping in their secret graves
bullet ridden, decapitated, defaced
winning shame for their killers, and colours too,
for killing them in cold blood.
Muhammad Zahid is a poet based in Kashmir.