four talib with rifles

Editor’s note: In current Afghan politics, the Taliban are often called the “brothers.”

When he cut the roots of my grape garden,
He said: “Die of hunger.”
When he closed the door of my school,
He said: “Die of ignorance.”
When he broke our 5,000-year-old Buddhas,
He said: “Die without a history.”
When he locked me in my home and my chador,
He screamed: “Die with no identity before your death!”

He made me feel and dream
Of the beauty of death
Of the peace in death
Of the comfort in death.

Then, the Hero came
He promised to save me, my identity and my dignity.
Now, when years have passed,
I see that the Hero lied
Since he calls that devil of death “Brother.”

By Safia R.

Photo by Ton Koene