Answering the ringing of my doorbell
I opened my front door to new faces,
these faces were not from nearby, but from
a land far away, the story of whose destruction is
often the headline at prime time on my TV.
Old people accompanied by young children
wondering that we strangers would be able to
help them in any way possible, I gave them what I was equipped with
trying to be as humble as possible knowing that they weren’t beggars.
That night when I sat down for dinner, the warm meal burned my throat,
when I slipped in between my comfortable mattress and blankets
I envisioned those young kids sleeping on uneven, rocky spread beds of camps
in a chilling cold that freezes your bones, with second-hand blankets
forced to leave their land, their homes, dreams, and peace behind
because they are trapped in the scavenger hunt of dirty politics
Some madman wants to invade their dreams, those beasts are busy
warming their hands from the fire that has destroyed villages
while these naïve people warm their cold bodies below
the open sky around a bonfire, not because it is a choice,
but because they have no other option.
While we sit safely around our fireplace on hearth
Children with happiness fading away from their faces
reminding me of the dullness of the rose petals I plucked on my terrace
reminiscing their lovely homes now ripped apart
in bomb blasts, replicating the Colosseum
having no future as lacking both degrees or skill that are in demand
I am in the fear of what the future holds for them, but
tomorrow the caravan will be in some other city seeking refuge.
Shafaque Taha is a Master’s degree holder in English Literature. She has published her creative work in Lavafara magazine and Poetry.com