You are everywhere

Your blood is on my hands,
Your blood is on my clothes,
Your blood is on my face,
Your blood is on the bullet,

You are everywhere,
On the Taliban hit list,
On the bloody pages of history,
In my dreams,
In the beads of my rosary,
On my chapped dry lips,
As I feverishly call out your name,

They say you are no longer here,
They are wrong,
Your blood is here,
Your bones are here,
Your bloody uniform is here,
Your shattered dreams are here,
Your shroud is here,
Ready to be wrapped around,
Your fragile body,
Ridden with bullets.

You’ll always be here,
In the walls of schools,
In the laughter of children,
Studying in classrooms,
In the ink of the pen,
Used to educate,
In the voices of revolutionists,
In our memories,
In our prayers,

You are not lost,
We have lost you,
Groping in the dark,
Drowning in ignorance,
Crying in vain,
Digging tiny graves,
Looking up at the bloody sky,
With 141 clouds drifting,
Looking down at the bloody ground,
With 141 bodies lying,
Staring at us,
Asking us,
What they were guilty of.

But right now,
You are very much present,
In the coffin that I carry,
On my shoulders.
Let the Earth take you in,
Let your marble tombstone shine in the moonlight,
But right now,
You are very much present,
In the wind that blows away,
The rose petals from your grave.

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Rumana Mehdi

Rumana Mehdi is a Pakistani poet living in the USA. She is the author of the poetry collections 'My Peace Poems', and 'Lilies, Gunpowder and Dreams'.

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