(Editor’s note: This poem was inspired by a girl our writer recently met while visiting her grandfather in the hospital.)

I asked my mom is it possible
That my legs and my hands
will grow again?
No one
No one
No one answered me.
Everyone, including the doctor, was silent.
All were looking down
As if they were stealing from me,
As if they were criminals
guilty of doing something bad to me.

Silence took up all the space.
It seemed that the walls, the ceiling,
The trees outside of my room were crying.
The lamp in my room darkened
Its shadow became full of grief and sadness
as I saw my situation
losing its ray of hope.

It was 8:00 that morning.
I was preparing myself for school.
A quick look in the mirror—
Do my sports clothes fit me or not?
Tomorrow is our school’s soccer match with another school.
I checked my American watch,
How it looked on my wrist.
My school’s principal gave it to me for being a good team leader
after we won last year’s game
I wore my shoes that matched.
On the way to school
I looked at the watch on my wrist, played with a ball.
My shoes touched the ball.

Suddenly the blast took all my happiness
And its grimy smoke brought
darkness into my life.
When I opened my eyes
everything seemed in disarray.
I checked my American watch.
I found my hand full of blood.
Then I thought to check my sports shoes
Which I bought for the soccer games
But I found my leg cut.
Touching my legs,
I saw half of my knee was gone.
I shook my legs, they moved.
But on other side of the street
I saw a leg with my sports shoe on it.
I asked myself—is it mine?
No, it is not mine.
Mine is okay.
I touched my eyes.
I thought I was dreaming.
I tried to stand and walk
But I couldn’t.
Then I knew
That my eyes were okay.
It was both my legs that were gone.

I tried to hold onto something
And pull myself up
But I saw my fingers and half my hands were gone.
I screamed
Then I don’t know what happened—
I found myself in the hospital.

I asked myself, could I dream
That I was a tree
That had lost its branches
And could grow them again?
But no one
gave me back my legs, my hands, my fingers.
Now I can’t wear watches,
I can’t be team leader.
I never
Would apologize to such criminal people.
Now when I see balls and sports shoes and clocks
They remind me that bloody blast,
They remind me that someone took my happiness,
They remind me that I will not be a team leader,
They tell me I am a disabled person.
After that day, that’s what everyone calls me.
After that beside my name, they put the disabled name too.
I never
Will accept the apology of such brutal people,
Those who left me with the disabled label.

By Freshta

photo: Reuters/Jerry Lampen