I remember it like my prostate cancer;
It was October, exactly
A year after the Great War broke.
After the birds flew south from my valley,
Another flock was in the air
Riding on the steel birds
While I slept inside my shanty.
I heard the shouts and ran towards
My farm to see the great harvest.

“Who are these people?” I asked myself
They hauled Jesus on the cross and shouted in triumph.
They martyred Hussain and repented.
They rested against the bosom of Magdalene,
And hurled stones at her for the solace.

Between her cracked lips and her unfaltering eyes;
A smile flows, a sigh escapes and walks into
The ruins of war to behold- if the son of God
Has returned. A pitiless silence follows her
Wishes; farther from the field dusty smoke rises
Up to announce the victory of time and death!

–Ashaq Hussain Parray, August 3, 2019