School Days

by an Afghan Girl

Girls hiking to school in rural Afghanistan when they were still allowed to get an education

How I remember and can’t forget
the corridors of my school,
like mansions the tents we studied
under, the carpets we carried

How I remember and can’t forget
I didn’t even have a notebook
but stayed up all night studying
for exams so we would not fail

How I remember and cannot forget
sitting in the summer sun to study
with my friend Shokrieh
who committed suicide at school
now no longer with me

How I won’t forget that girl
her eyes filled with love and passion
for studying
and how she and other friends and classmates
were killed in front of my eyes

The friend who no longer had a secret
the friend who lost a hand
the friend who lost a body
the friend whose dreams were buried
under the soil of Haji Nabi
the friend whose studies in forensic medicine
were severed from his life and soul
the friend in the mountains
and the friend who was unable to walk

How I remember and remember the pain
and suffering we endured to study
to grow and build Afghanistan
hoping to achieve big dreams

How I will never forget the animal
that closed my school doors

How I think often about the day
my friend was killed in the blast
the desperation in Kabul and
around Afghanistan
those cloudy sad days

I remember and won’t forget the hope
we had in school, the efforts we made,
the good times we had

I don’t forget when those doors
closed and my hopes were taken

I know and will always remember
I am strong I will stay true to myself
to learn despite what has been lost
supported by others
who hold my hands, our hands,
in the cold of winter

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

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Afghan Voices

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