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.
United Nations photo by Eskinder Debebe.