One Thing Missing in Our Country

Editor’s note: This poem was written for International Peace Day, September 21, 2012.

We lost it in decades of war.
Why did they steal it
from our country?
Why do they attack our people?
Why are they against it?

Yesterday — a suicide attack
near the Kabul airport,
twelve killed.

Our defenseless people
are murdered
by terrorists —
against peace.

We have the right
to live
in a peaceful place.
But they
destroy our rights, our dreams,
dreams — for our lives.

For what reason?
How often must we sacrifice?
What is happening
to our poor and innocent people?
Are NATO’s troops here
to help the Afghans?

I am a mother —
a mother of six.
How much more can I worry about my children’s safety?
A mother’s daily concern — no matter where —
is to see her little ones arrive in safety,
back home.

How long must I carry this fear
for my children?

I remember in Sweden once —
I waited in the rail station. All
so calm, no concern
on the faces of passengers.
Every one so happy.
Their beaming faces told me
they were sure to return to their homes,
sure to see their family members,
every night
in their calm and peaceful homes.

But that was not my homeland.

Here, still, I face
the suicide attacks, the war,
and I think
of one important thing,
lost in decades of war, stolen
from our country — it is peace.

Unite, my honorable compatriots.
Let us raise our voices together,
today, on International Peace Day.
Let us stop this war
in our country.
We want peace
and peace and peace.

By Mariam


  1. This was a strong poem Mariam, I appreciate you writing this. I hope things go well for you and your children, my best wishes. Do keep writing!

  2. Alexis Wiggins says:

    Wow, Mariam, this is really effective. I’m haunted by the image of you in the rail station in Sweden. How many times have I sat in a subway station in New York, Madrid, Hong Kong and forgotten about the blessings of an easy, peaceful life. How often have I complained about the train being late. Your poem puts that into perspective — thank you. May you and your beautiful children (and their grandchildren) know Afghanistan as Sweden someday.

  3. Dear Mariam,

    I live in another world apart from you, but although land and sea separate us, this place seems so familiar. In my life my mother means everything to me. I have two biological brothers, but on top of these I have many other people I call brothers. My mother watches out for all of these boys and they call her their mother. Mom amazes me everyday. She makes sure her boys do well in school, have healthy relations with those surrounding us and even makes sure we arrive safely at night. I tell my mom I love her everyday, but something tells me it’s never enough. I ask her what can I do to repay her. And her response is always doing your best in life and it will have all been worthwhile. I appreciate what my mom does for me, and I hope your children feel the same way. There is something about a mother and her boys, and her children, which is so powerful. It is my hope for you that you can continue to be a loving force in the lives of your children. And I urge you to keep writing to express your love and concern for not only your children but the world you live in.



  4. I like this poem, I thought it was a powerful statement of how a group of people, who have no relation to you can dictate how you should feel. I think it is wrong for them to keep you in constant fear. I am very amazed at your bravery and I hope you stay strong, for you and your family.

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