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24 April 2013 One Comment

Mariam Shoaib


By Mariam Shoaib, Pakistan

I could turn up the volume on the news,
but there are bills to pay.
Grasping for the car keys,
the anchor repeats the alert.

News keeps  breaking,
breaking new  records of  domestic terrror and
drone-aided calamities.
Quick glance, is it Peshawer, or Karachi?
If I wait any longer,
the banks will close,
who can bear late charges in this economy?

I could slow down my car at the chowk,
weaving around the men,
children protesting,
asking “What are you demanding today?’

But I have been in line for over 3 hrs,
and  still need my job,
so in the rearview signboards and chants,
like numerous Pakistani lives, fade away.

My voter’s registration application lies blank and menacing on the desk.
I would turn it in, and vouch for democracy,
but I am out the door…
Tasbih in hand,
tears cloud the path to my brother’s janazah (funeral).

Aaj Quetta jal raha hai
Today Quetta burns, again.


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One Comments to “Fade”
  1. Daniel S. Moskowitz says:

    I think that one has to have a certain Detachment to survive in Pakistan, but I know that there are many Conscientous People over there like my friend, Hifza Shah Jillani. I’ll send this poem off to her. She’s been keeping me Informed about events on Pakistan for Quite Sometime. She says she sometimes has Nightmares, but it is said that some of the Most Brutal People sleep quite well. So, people who have Nightmares about what is going on in Pakistan or anywhere else in the World are not necessarily the “Sick” ones. They just haven’t exterminated their own Consciences.

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