War & Worn Frontier


We had a home once,

but it was torn apart.

The sky disappeared

while the ground split open across the village,

as if the Soviets were in a game of connect-the-dots.

As if this land wasn’t dirty enough,

pieces that once came together,

and stood proud to be our town,

flew everywhere

and settled backwards.

In a panic, I gathered my children, my wife.

I would’ve given up a toe from each, perhaps a leg as well.

I only hoped we’d escape, all their tiny hearts still beating.

And in a second, I hated my wife,

with her giant belly-

she moved so slowly,

carrying my youngest son.

There was an end to the chaos,

brief but so sweet in its stillness.

The quiet nights are what I’d imagined

as a young man, dreaming of a family

not yet in existence.

I even enjoy it- the cherished hush

of an Afghan night

when there are no interruptions,

no unrest or disturbance,

only the sweeter stirring of my youngest,

as I grip that soft, safe sleeping place,

as I listen closely,

I’m kept awake

by the steady murmur of my family’s heart,

unable to sleep and grateful for it.

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