When I Was Six

young girl in pink

When I was six
Mom was holding my hand tightly
As tight as she could
Brother, older sisters holding hands
Everyone carrying at least something
Dad carrying grandma on his back
              The warm weather
Darkness everywhere
Fear all over our bodies
The voice of the people-smuggler in our ears:
                        Fast! Hurry! Run! This way! Quiet!
                        Crouch down! Stop!
                        Freeze! Stay awake!
The rough road, the sharp stones
              Mom, my slippers got holes
              My feet are hurting
                         Be quiet my dear
                         We’ll be there soon
Lost my slippers
              Mom, my slippers are gone
They broke completely
                          Carry on, my love, it’s fine
              Can we relax for a bit?
                           No, hush . . .
I am tired, hungry                      
The stones are hurting my feet
Finally, a smile from the smuggler —
                          Congratulations, we’ve passed the border!
Thank God, we are alive!

By Farahnaz

Photo from Wild Frontiers Travel


  1. Stunning, stunning poem. My heart is still in my throat. Brava, Farahnaz. So very proud of your writing, and what you are achieving in your life.


  2. Incredible poem. Such suspense and sense of danger. Such glorious relief–“Congratulations, we’ve passed the border!”


  3. What a beautiful poem and tribute to your family, Farahnaz. Your mother urging you, “Carry on,” your father carrying grandma on his back, your brother and older sisters holding hands, everyone carrying something, helping each other through the fear. With this strength in your past and inside you, you will always be able to carry on through the stones of life.

  4. Elizabeth Titus says:

    This is incredible beyond words.

    It is so vivid, so real.

    The story it tells must be heard. Thank you!

  5. Nancy Antle says:

    Farahnaz — Wow. This is such an incredible poem — it made my heart race and my eyes well over at the end. Amazing work! Nancy

  6. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful, thank you for sharing! Courtney

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