Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010

Taking Flight

by maliha neesa

Walking down a street in Gaza one day
Which street it was, I forget the name,
Looking around I began to feel a sense of shame.
I met a young boy, eyes full of terror
Weak with fear.
I asked him, how can I help you?
What is happening here?
He said, my sister you cannot stay
Death is prowling the streets and won’t go away.
So I did as he said, I took flight,
Turned my back on oppression, this
Was not my fight.
I ended up in a Sudanese town,
Children sleeping in beds of blood
All around.
I met a young girl, trembling on
Her knees.
She said sister you must leave here
For your own sake please.
So I did as she said, I took flight
Turned my back on oppression this
Was not my fight.
I decided I’ll go to Pakistan, Northern Frontier
Where I saw stone faced women and children,
Who had given up shedding their tears,
Echoes of laughter muted into dust,
A deafening silence before the gun’s thrust.
I met a young woman, she looked familiar
She said sister stay away don’t come near
Death comes into every alleyway and home
A sinister shadow, it won’t leave you alone.
So I did as she said, I took flight
Turned my back on oppression, this
Was not my fight.
If I take flight on the helplessness I see,
The question arises, where is my humanity?
If I turn a blind eye to the reign of the oppressor
And death seeks me in the form of an aggressor
Who will help me?
 

Added: 29.04.2010

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