A poem by Sitara

She stood opposite her muddy cottage

Torn walls, gaping holes, like unfulfilled desires

Her cottage was old, but heaven to her

Her small eyes surrounded with wrinkles

Stared at her broken children, poverty on their faces

They worked in the streets

Their smoky hands, bushy hair and drab clothes

Stabbed their mother’s heart

They were working too hard

One a huckster, the other washing cars

The sunlight burns them until they are blushed

Their faces sweat like they are standing under rain

She feels their tongues stick in their mouths

No shelter, no food, no toy for playing

No book, no pen, no prospect for the future

One customer says thanks, and gives them money

The other mistreats them, complains of their work,

Throws their money on the ground

The boys smile and take their meager wages

Shown her bitter life story

She murmurs slowly to herself

My kids endure all difficulties to find a loaf of bread

If I had known, I would never have given birth

Their torn clothes and bare feet

Bring tears to the mother’s eyes

She looks to the sky

Her dry throat locking her lips

She kneels on the ground,

Turns her face and sees another child

Well-dressed in an expensive car

It drives fast, splatters mud on an old woman’s face

She rubs off the dirt

Wonders when her misery will end

Suddenly, a horrible sound tears her thoughts

She turns her face

Sees her child’s tiny body pooled in blood

The suicide demon exploding his life

Like others before, bomb strapped

To body like a baby to its mother

Inanimate statues now stuck to the wall

The mother is still as a breathless body,

Perhaps her spirit has fled

Writing by Afghan writers. Editor/Publisher: Nancy Antle; Editor: Pamela Hart

Writing by Afghan writers. Editor/Publisher: Nancy Antle; Editor: Pamela Hart