The magician and the boy from Waziristan
It was a stony winter morning covered in mist.
The half-awake magician answered the hurried knock
at the front door.
The boy, covered in dust and smell,
carried a big, bulky sack on his back.
It was made of coarse jute threads tightly interwoven.
A thin and flexible but armoured
metal strip looped around the mouth of the sack
to seal it.
The boy looked straight into the magician’s eyes.
“I come from far.
I remember watching you in the circus with my father.
You had cut a woman in half,
then joined her back.
They were all burnt to death after the bomb went off.
Only my mother’s body is not charred.
I bring her to you.
She is only cut in half.”
– Harris Khalique, Islamabad, March 2017
Waziristan is in northwest Pakistan bordering Afghanistan & has been subject to thousands of airstrikes, including by drones, since the US-NATO war began in 2001. Tens of thousands have fled the bombing & become refugees in their own country. Harris Khalique is a renowned Pakistani poet, writer, activist.
(The photo shows children of Waziristan playing & not the gruesome photos of those killed or injured by bombs.)