A Poem for Afghanistan. By Zahra Wakilzada

Most of us lack words with regard to the events in Afghanistan of the past few days.
I have, luckily and with the help of friends from Afghanistan Free Women Writers (see here),
found a young courageous poet, whose artistic contribution is double faced, as is the face of Afghanistan, if not ours.
Zahra Wakilzada, 20, is an Afghan activist and published author who sought refuge in the United States in 2015. Her poems here reflect and are written on the face of current events though. She began writing at a very young age and this passion of hers flourished upon seeking refuge in Pakistan at the age of 12 where she began to further educate herself on the world’s injustices. Zahra writes on a variety of issues including women’s rights, human rights, and refugee rights in both Dari and English. Her writing has also been translated into Spanish and French. She is currently a third-year student at Georgetown University, located in Washington, DC, studying International Politics. Zahra hopes to combine her passion for writing and activism to make the world a safer place for everyone and leave a long-lasting impact.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
By: Zahra Wakilzada

Last night, the nightmare of terror knocked at our door again.
Drowning in sweat, she woke up screaming,
“They beheaded your brother just like your father.
I ran to save him, but I failed. I failed again!
Like angry wolves, they came at me.
There are lashes’ marks all over my body.
Look at all these bruises.

She rolled up her sleeves.
In the darkness with teary eyes,
I felt the warmth of her shaky hands.
Years after the Taliban regime,
The possibility of their return
Has set up tents in our dreams like nightmares.
I rolled down her sleeves
And gave a kiss on her forehead.
She laid her head on my shoulder,
With a broken heart and tired soul,
She whispered,
“Darling, peace will come
But not with its enemy, the Taliban!”

Beloved Afghanistan
Sitting at the summit of the Hindu Khush
Holding a glass of green Ahmad chai eating shirpara.
My grandpa is reciting words of love from Hafez
And I am moving to ancient Afghan music.
Allow me to see my reflection
on the crystal clear water of Ghargha lake
And paint the blood of my flag with Kandahari pomegranate.
For Eid, let me wear the colorful handmade Badakhshi dress,
And smile when speaking in my sweet Herati accent.
Allow me to go to the kite tournaments
And run after every flying kite.
Let me lay on my grandma’s lap in the evenings,
And talk about our childhood on the rooftop
As she runs her fingers through my silky hair.
On the top of my lungs in Baba mountain,
Let me scream my national anthem again,
“This Land will shine forever –
Like the sun in the blue sky.
In the chest of Asia –
It will remain as the heart forever.”

Zahra Wakilzada (credit: the author)