Category Archives: Freshta

I Thought It Was a Dream But When I Woke, I Couldn’t Walk

(Eds Note: This poem was inspired by a girl our writer recently met while visiting her grandfather in the hospital.)

I asked my mom is it possible
That my legs and my hands
will grow again?
No one
No one
No one answered me.
Everyone, including the doctor, was silent.
All were looking down
As if they were stealing from me,
As if they were criminals
guilty of doing something bad to me.

Silence took up all the space.
It seemed that the walls, the ceiling,
The trees outside of my room were crying.
The lamp in my room darkened
Its shadow became full of grief and sadness
as I saw my situation
losing its ray of hope.

It was 8:00 that morning.
I was preparing myself for school.
A quick look in the mirror—
Do my sports clothes fit me or not?
Tomorrow is our school’s soccer match with another school.
I checked my American watch,
How it looked on my wrist.
My school’s principal gave it to me for being a good team leader
after we won last year’s game
I wore my shoes that matched.
On the way to school
I looked the watch on my wrist, played with a ball.
My shoes touched the ball.

Suddenly the blast took all my happiness
And its grimy smoke brought
darkness into my life.
When I opened my eyes
everything seemed in disarray.
I checked my American watch.
I found my hand full of blood.
No
No
No
Then I thought to check my sport shoes
Which I bought for the soccer games
But I found my leg cut.
Touching my legs,
I saw half of my knee was gone.
I shook my legs, they moved.
But on other side of the street
I saw a leg with my sport shoe on it.
I asked myself—is it mine?
No, it is not mine.
Mine is okay.
I touched my eyes.
I thought I was dreaming.
I tried to stand and walk
But I couldn’t.
Then I knew
That my eyes were okay.
It was both my legs that were gone.

I tried to hold onto something
And pull myself up
But I saw my fingers and half my hands were gone.
I screamed
Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Then I don’t know what happened—
I found myself in the hospital.

I asked myself, could I dream
That I was a tree
That had lost its branches
And could grow them again?
But no one
gave me back my legs, my hands, my fingers.
Now I can’t wear watches,
I can’t be team leader.
I never
never
never
Would apologize to such criminal people.
Now when I see balls and sports shoes and clocks
They remind me that bloody blast,
They remind me that someone took my happiness,
They remind me that I will not be a team leader,
They tell me I am a disabled person.
After that day, that’s what everyone calls me.
After that beside my name, they put the disabled name too.
Disabled
Disabled
Disabled
I never
never
never
Will accept the apology of such brutal people,
Those who left me with the disabled label.

By Freshta

Peace Appears

There is a knocking on the door
Then let the door open…
Towards what?
Towards peace

But Peace said:
“I want to appear
When there is
No war, no murder,
No suicide attacker, no human trafficking,
No violations against women,
No famine, no corruption,
And there will be security,
Brotherhood, humanity,
Education, knowledge,
Freedom of speech.”
In where?
In our country

Then peace will spread its wings over the land
But we must not let
War or fire burn its wings
And change its color to black
Or let illiteracy blind its eyes
Or let violence create a cancer
And change its joyful face to a sorrowful frown

Not let corruption and narcotics addict Peace
Not let poverty break the waist of Peace
Not let violations against women break its wing
Not let censorship limit freedom of speech
Not let our enemy destroy traces of ancient worlds
Not let that irritant music of war,
Suicide attackers, human traffickers, murderers
Explosions, fires, violations
Cover our country

To dwell in peace
We must become her best friend
Yes, but who will do that?
It will be knowledge and security
Which lights all peoples’ minds
And delivers equality and shines
Over the world like the sun.

By Freshta

Winter for Poor

Poor said:
When winter comes
Death comes
Cold house
No electricity
No fuel
No warm clothes
No food
No chance to work
On the street
Streets filled with slosh, mud
Where should we work?
When winter comes
Sickness comes
No kind doctor
No free clinics
No good medicine
In the pharmacy
An expired drug
Waiting for me
Where should we recover?

By Freshta

The Nature of Natures

Rain appears from clouds

Tears appear from eyes

Blood appears from wounds

Wounds appear from grief

Poverty appears from brokenness

Anger appears from high tension

War appears from conflict

Love appears from the heart

Pleasure appears from doing your wishes

Being active appears from hard work

Cold appears in winter

Warmth appears in summer

Blossoms appear in Spring

Nature wearing yellow clothes appears in Fall

The sun’s twinkle appears in a cloudy sky

Cleanness appears from care

Corruption appears from greed

Leadership emerges from good management

Skill appears from experience

Experience appears from practice

Friendship appears from good will

Wisdom appears when there is no censorship.

By Freshta

POMEGRANATE

Green tree
Bearing red light
You hang red light
For festivals
Inside that light
You will find
The secret
Search that secret
You will find
Treasure of skin-covered ruby
Formed granular
Separate each bundle
With yellow flask
Shines, sparkles
Like garnet;
Its crystal tinsel-like diamond
Feeds blood to the heart,
And gives
Glory to the eyes
Bright eyes
Look how nature is beauty

By Freshta

The Fake Talib

During the Taliban regime, all Afghan shopkeepers were required to lock their doors at 1 p.m and go to the masjeed (mosque) for prayer. Islam says that we shouldn’t pressure Muslims to pray; they should know themselves to pray, and know when prayer time is. But in the Taliban period, those who kept their shops open during prayer time were punished. So every day at 1 p.m., everyone was on the lookout for Taliban coming towards their shops. Before the Taliban could reach the shops, the shopkeepers and customers would run away and go to the masjeed.

Once I was with my mom at the bazaar. My mom was going to buy a burqa for my aunt, who wanted to come visit Kabul from Pakistan and didn’t have a burqa. It was ten minutes until 1 p.m. when we saw a group of boys running, some hiding themselves in the shops, others running towards the masjeed. “I think the Taliban are coming,” said my mom. She and other women nearby covered themselves, their bodies and their hands, with burqas. “Cover your nose and lips with your scarves, and make your scarves tight,” my mom whispered to me.

We saw a man approaching who had covered his nose, his ears, and his mouth with a black turban, as the Taliban did. He held a long rope in his hand, and when he saw the shopkeepers, he snapped it. “Just leave, start moving, don’t speak,” said the Talib. Everyone was shocked that he was allowing them to leave without punishment, and before he reached them, they escaped.

When he reached the women, he examined them seriously from their heads to their feet, but said nothing, as if he was very sad. He moved away from us and walked slowly, looking everywhere as if searching those for shopkeepers who were left. I was very scared; a silence fell over the bazaar. No one dared breathe even one word.

Suddenly, three boys without turbans rushed toward the Talib in the black turban. When they reached him, they pulled away his turban, revealing his face. Everyone waited to see what would happen next because at that time, no one dared even speak to a Talib, let alone touch them. Those who did speak were often beaten by the Talib.

Suddenly a big laugh broke out. We saw the man who wore the black turban was not a Talib; in fact, he was one of the young boys worked in the shops and he just wanted to make people laugh. Everyone did laugh a lot and started moving towards the shops, continuing with their work and shopping. Women near us said, “What a funny boy he is,” and “Look how, even in this difficult situation, he can still joke,” and “I was about to die—my heart didn’t move!”

I, too, was laughing hard, remembering how the shopkeepers ran to escape and the women covered themselves. I couldn’t manage my laughter. Finally, my mom said: “Keep your voice down! Otherwise, the real Talib will come and they’ll beat you, and they’ll beat me too because I am your mom!”

I stopped laughing. But later, when I saw Talib who beat people and ordered them to pray, I remember that moment and told myself, “THEY are the fake Taliban.”

By Freshta

Because I am a Woman

When I open my eyes to this world, everyone turns sad.
When they learn my gender, people say oh my God.
When I am small and need my father’s love and kindness, he turns his back on me, giving all his love to his sons instead.
When I speak loudly, everyone tells me “speak softly, it is a shame you are a girl, a girl should speak quietly.”
When I go to the masjeed (mosque), I am told not to look other places, just go straight there and return.
When I am ready to attend school, no one allows me.
When I become sick, no one cares for me.
When I need something or want something, I can’t get it, even if it costs little.
When they want me to marry, they give me no choice and will not hear me.
When I want to defend my rights, they beat me, or kill me.
When I am pregnant, no taking care of me.
When someone asks the father of my children about them, he will not speak his daughters’ names, for fear of bringing shame, and has no pride in them.
When I bear daughters, more than two or three, they try to name my baby Bas bi bi, which means stop bringing girls.
When I bear more daughters, they beat me and marry another woman, and think the fault is mine alone.
When I bear a son, they feed him but I am left uncared for.

You know why?
Because
I am a woman.

Just a woman.
That is my mistake.
Just being a woman.

By Freshta