Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Day War Came

I was still in my bed
the day war came
destroying all my toys & games.

Ma wasn't in the kitchen
adding milk to my oats
Baba wasn’t yelling about taxes
or rejected refugee boats.

Instead, lies a hole
Where once was our table
Now, just dust, smoke and naked cables.

Ma had prepared me for this,
one sweltering afternoon,
'you need to know', she said,
'It'll come very soon.'

Just as rehearsed, I took what I could,
reaching for the bag,
with ' chhoti ’ on its tag.

I always dismissed ma,
told her I'd never leave ghar,
but home is now
the barrel of a gun
and the doorbell is explosion.

I left because home wouldn't let me stay,
home chased me until my vision was a haze.
until war was underneath
my fingernails
and behind closed eyes,
War taught me to live a lie.

Ma warned me not to waste time in prayer,
'God will not answer', she said
'he won't hear you over rifles and
so I let the devil wander my dreams.

The devil looked like my friend
from across the street,
laden with guns and ammo,
hardly discreet.

Devil cries as he drills bullets in his mama's own head,
then turning to his baba,
filling lungs with lead.

War isn't like the movies,
in this war, everybody's losing.

I want to tell someone
war is more
than just
devastating stills
sad violin scores,
it is the here and the now
and oh, so much more.

So I'm writing letters
to all those homes that were seized,
to hear from the dead
if the war has ceased.

By Dhwani Giri
Dance, poetry, chai, all the books in the world and conversations.