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The innocents live a life
That begins with words like explosion, attack, death
And ends suddenly, conclusively.

Newspapers never specify an age— 
Could be three or sixty-three.

Children wish to “become animals because the Taliban do not kill animals.” 
Elders wish to “die in a bombing rather than die every second.”

The newly married couple hesitates
Before beginning a family.

Their drink is worse than gall.
Their food is sorrow.
Their oxygen is dust of loved ones.

Red is their new black.

Each year feels like a century
And each year Afghans wish
For the same old mercies: peace, unity, security, humanity, hope.

People forget to question evil,
Accepting poison like seasoning. 

Every day is the same—dark clouds,
Future and present becoming past.

Everyone in this life has a chance, the world insists,
But Afghans never get this chance.

Still, I believe
Our bravery and strength can make again
The beautiful country my grandparents knew.

A place where the innocents live happily.

Better than before.

By Farahnaz

United Nations photo by Eskinder Debebe.