I close my eyes and remember warm summer nights
Spent on rooftops, mattresses spread out, spray bottles filled with water
Waving at neighbours, enjoying the rare breeze of a summer’s night.
My three sisters and I would laugh endlessly as our parents slept
Underneath the blanket of stars and an overzealous moon
Watching over us, and we danced, we danced around with our hopes and our dreams while Singing to Jupiter and the trees.
On cold winter nights, it was the clanking of the pots and pans that
Awoke us in the morning, underneath our covers, we etched a lifetime of
Memories, now all a faded distant dream.
It was the chestnuts by the fire, and the sherbet for our guests,
It was the long conversations over the hedge with a friendly neighbour,
It was the young boy who brought us our warm bread in the mornings
And the little geckos hiding by the air conditioner that frightened us,
It was this and all of this,
That I built my magical kingdom on.
And now, a crumbling dynasty of hope.
First came the whispers and murmurs of a revolution, a spring,
Then came the protests, followed by a siege, and all of a sudden,
Our hometown was destroyed by madness and our streets were overflowing with
Black flags with white writings and perverted tendencies,
A betrayal of the innocent, an angry cry, tears of blood from the sky, it wasn’t a bomb,
it was three and more, followed by the creation of streams of light blood,
dark blood, all blood Blends, of friends and foes, the city was exposed.
From cradle to grave we were born into a war,
Our fairytale life was nothing but a dissolved rumour.
Scenes of family and friends fleeing, images of fallen faces, feeling afraid and famished,
We were now uninvited from our homes, unwanted by our people, unwelcome by all.
Our misfortune was a means to an end.
They didn’t care about the chestnuts or the rooftops,
they had no intention of listening to our hopes and dreams,
they were monsters from my unimaginable childhood nightmares,
And they were here to stay.
We fought and fought, we buried the dead,
We buried Sheereen, Berivan, Ruhan and too many to count.
I look to the sky to see a glimmer of hope,
But all I see is an untrusted enemy, a betrayal.
You were supposed to protect me. I wished upon all the stars, I wished for protection.
And now the cycle repeats, it’s different faces and a different flag,
But the decree is the same by all intents.
Our mother, a lover of the mountains, of the sun, of the earth,
Now a body of regret, “Why?” She would ask herself every day as she visits my grave, and waters my flowers, “Why did I stay?” She would ask as she prayed,
And “why” she would utter at the world?