One day,
When we were kids,
We went sightseeing
Curious to the grandpa’s wrinkled face.
We opened it as an illustrated book;
Two things stood out, ─
We found soldier-beaten lanes of dust,
A dead woman’s slit throat, her Shalwar torn,
We were shaken, staring in horror at each other;
We shrouded her in a handful of dust;

Fifty years later, one day
My children dug into my wrinkles;
Nothing has changed for them-
Ami defaced, her so black hair scattered;
They are not shaken; nor look in horror;
Ami and Grandpa have come and gone;
The soldiers in the dust-beaten lanes
And the mother’s torn Shalwar have stayed forever.”

©Ashaq Hussain Parray