War Cannot Breathe

Soldiers line the outskirts of our villages,

Movement is prohibited, limbs locked in fear,

The taste of rape in an adolescent’s womb,

Cannot be erased and so our women – stand,

To lead another rebellion,

In which their children’s death – is certain,

But they find strength in the war torn hearts,

Of the men they are sending out to battle.

Today there is white phosphorous overhead,

Depleted Uranium in my mother’s womb,

And death arrives before life is even conceived,

Your gaze cannot meet mine,

When the only thing that my children know is crimson,

They know the blood types being screamed,

From the hospitals which once symbolised refuge,

Not lullabies – because mother was too busy,

Urging the wounded not to die on her kitchen floor,

Or in the arms of their father at the roadside,

Because curfews do not like Doctors,

And our hospitals were blown to pieces.

The dead know no mortuary,

The earth knows no rain – like it knows the blood of martyrs,

Generation after generation of painful remembrance,

Leaves the memory of life seeping from psychological wounds,

When will you make this end?

There are Apaches over head,

Threatening to turn my loved ones,

Into nameless numbers,

And lay them to rest under the injustice,

Named collateral damage,

Has our land not yet tasted enough,

Bullet ridden bodies to last us at least – one lifetime?

Or is the ultimate sacrifice just simply not enough?

Blood thirsty tyrants roam our lands freely,

All we learn to smell is jackboots and artillery,

Now ask me again, why our children raise their fists in defiance,

Dreaming of uprisings and rebellions.

Because war cannot breathe –

Our children do.

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