A poem by Amir Shefayee

It’s somewhere in the world
Famous
For its tobacco, violence, insecurity
Corruption, suicide bombers, variety of crimes
But that’s not really right
There’s more to my homeland

We have emigrated to neighborhoods
Never got treated like citizens
The word Afghan spoken as an insult
There are four seasons but for us five
That’s the one that never ends
The sad season, in which humiliation is felt

Thousands of soldiers have died
Thousands of soldiers have tried
to bring peace and safety to this country
Bring peace by war?
That’s like making noise to create silence

What about the kids who work all day
Always willing though
They only see the outcome not the income
Working not always a choice
But the way to feed their family
No one but customers to hear their voices
What needs to be shared
The opportunities, the feelings

There are poets who die unknown
These deaths are sad
But worse is their words aren’t read
They die then we just mourn

I don’t know much about politics
Which people say are bad
But politics can be used
Instead of war
Which sounds realistic
Politics might stop war

There might be many problems here
Those who had no choice left here
Those who had a choice lied to flee

Oh my dear homeland
You are always shown
As what you are not
You have talents in you

Calligraphers whose Farsi script
Flows long and soft into letters and words
Like drawing with pen and ink
They honor women with their poetry

Artists creating enamels
Beauty that never expires
May these gifts of Afghanistan never fade

You have men who respect women
You have stories which are not written
You have lovers
You have liars they lie about you
They say you are not good
This is not true

I love you my homeland
I want life in you
In this very land
I wish peace for you
As a poet I do my part for you
I write of your goodness
Sincerely, I love you

About the Author: Amir Shefayee lives in Afghanistan and is an instructor at Star Educational Society. He is also a German tutor.

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

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