The Garden of My Homeland (Clothed in Blood and Fear)

I am a daughter who has witnessed sixteen springs and the nests
Of beautiful swallows in those winters.
In the spring, all beauty and blessings rain onto the earth.
Like in my father and mother’s house where it rained the blessing of God.

I am a daughter who was born into a big family
Of unschooled parents who still gave special importance to education.
They provoked the flame of knowledge in their babies.

I am a daughter who was born into the heart of Asia at a moment when
Everywhere was clothed in blood and danger and fear.
My mother feared for me all the time.
Every family mourned for their dear children.
Guns and missiles were the voices mothers heard instead of their children’s babbling.

My family emigrated as refugees to neighboring lands.
When we returned to our homeland, its beauty was gone.
It had changed to a desolate place. Bloodshed
And the sound of crying was everywhere.
Friendship between people had been forgotten.

I was able again to enter into the garden of education and pick some flowers.
I benefited from that garden.
My family praised me as I grew day by day.
I came to understand my homeland was sick and desolate.
I knew I must help transform it.

My teacher said: “You are the future. You are the gardeners of your homeland.”
Remembering that, I made myself a garden.
I made myself a gardener and I’ve learned to irrigate.

In my mind, I see a beautiful homeland, one far from war.
When I walk the streets of my homeland; it is like nightingales at dawn.
I sing for the improvement of my homeland.
I give my childhood and youth to develop my homeland,
The place I call my own.

By Sabira

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5 responses to “The Garden of My Homeland (Clothed in Blood and Fear)

  1. Dear Sabira,
    What a breathtaking poem! Such a perfect metaphor – “the gardeners of your homeland.” May all your fruits be blessed. May your country grow strong and beautiful once again. Keep gardening.
    Naomi Benaron

  2. My favorite ideas and images in this poem are:

    sixteen springs
    rained the blessings
    nightingales at dawn

    You have moved me deeply with this piece of writing.

    Blessings to you…as you bring blessings to others.

    Gloria

  3. Pingback: Lit Think» Blog Archive » Afghan Women Writers’ Project

  4. This piece is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing this as I will remember it. I hope your garden will mature with beauty and tranquility.

  5. “The friendship between people had been forgotton” is a haunting line that will remain with me. Indeed, this forgetting of friendship is an issue throughout the world. Please keep writing.

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