Our Friends

First, they came uninvited and said:
“We are your saviours” though,
We never wanted them to be one.
They wrote about our warmth
And our fair-skinned doves,
We thought it would be over soon.

We ploughed the land we fought for
And managed to get from our lords.
We kept them watching until one day
They poisoned our history, let loose
Their barricaded dugouts- and took
Us all inside – one after another.

I, like God, stood watching the intricate
Designs forming on the beaten bodies;
And the embryonic maps of nation from
The bared wounded chests laid
To rest by the butt-blows.

I wanted to cry, they teargassed my eyes
I tried to shout, they shot the air- full.
Therefore, I wrote them down- all.
I see a space when they will haunt them
Their school texts and their own graves
And their honeymoon trips to Kashmir.

–Kashmiri poet Ashaq Hussain Parray