Volume Three, Issue 3

Mahrukh Murad

My Son –The Soldier and His Father –The Terrorist

You were born under a waning moon,
Your first cry merged with the pouring rain.
You died under the scorching sun,
Your last cry cutting the fire of bullets, with nothing and no one to share the pain.
You wore heavy boots,
You knew how to salute (The Right Way).
You were my boy.
Your mother’s beloved child.
You inherited war.
Your father was a terrorist.
And you fought the terrorists.
Even though you never said as much,
I already knew.
You wished to speak to your father.
Man to Man.
But I also know what you don’t know.
Your bullet would have remained wedged deep within your rifle when you met him.
You would have hugged him and cried on his shoulder.
And you would cry harder when he would refuse to embrace you—still on his shoulder.
His cold eyes would rake over you,
Unemotional and dead.
You would get chills.
And your heart would crack to pieces.
You would come home and call your friend—also a soldier.
Speak in code language and very formally leak the whereabouts of your father.
With red eyes you will ask me to make you some tea.
You do not desire the taste,
You simply wish to be enveloped and held with grace
As you fall and break and shatter.
You will never know how your father followed you home.
That he will kick down the door,
And hold a gun to your mother’s head.
You will howl.
And attack him.
He will fire and a bullet will settle deep in your forehead.
You will die in your mother’s lap.
Your father will be killed in a shootout by your friend.
I know all of this, after all it is how history ran its course.

The Last Time He Left Me

He left me by the woods,
To wander in futile mystery.
I saw a woodpecker engage in mutual discourse with a tree.
It sang of dangerous misery.
My eyes went beyond the range of the century,
Into the secrets of a failing humanity.
I think I heard him whisper my name,
The eve closing in.
A marmot escaped a coyote laying trap.
Giving the lie of life still lies heavy on me.
A holy glow settled upon me,
As I kept vigil at the petals beside me.
I saw them leave by wind, by the peaks of curious birds.
A quarter rushed back, steady against the attack.
It’s been a long while since,
The sun broke apart the darkened clouds.

Mahrukh Murad: "I am a high school student residing in Pakistan. I aspire to harness the creative streak in human nature and embody it in my work. My poetry has previously been published in TeenInk, The Waggle magazine and is forthcoming in The Pangolin Review and Pleiades Magazine."

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