Swearing by the name of this earth
I had promised to love you,
This very earth
Has been opened like a grave for us.
All the flowers in my country have been picked
And gunpowder planted instead.
Fragrance breathes its last
In a torture camp.
The very lane where hand in hand with you
I have danced to the music of peace,
There a death-dealer is spread-eagled.
My “garbi” shalwar, “tik” dupatta and “khumbo”
I have hidden away in a box.
My own identity I have swallowed like a bitter pill.
Walking along with you and looking at the full moon
I cannot recite Bhittai’s “bait” to you,
The sound of Kalashnikovs
Makes my child get up from sleep.
I open my lips to sing a lullaby
And everybody else in the home
Puts a finger on their lips,
Gesturing me to remain silent.
Newspapers, like the nails of a witch
Tear off a bit of my flesh every day.
Are repeated parrot-like.
I don’t want to be sucked in by a swamp of fear.
Song-makers of my land!
Write for me an everlasting song
So that I can break the shackles of my tyranny
And dance again in ecstasy.
Reproduced from: APFA- English blog, All Pakistan Feminists’ Association.