3 weeks ago

The Damage is Ours Alone – A Poem by Zabirah Fazili

There are no suitable words to describe or introduce Zabirah Fazili’s latest poem. Within such verses one finds an utterance…

On a cold January morning
at the break of dawn
Mother's dreams break
and she wakes up breathing heavily
and sweating
"kus taain morukh"
someone's been killed.

We all sit huddled
wondering if the dream
is an omen
or if it's only Mother's fears
speaking to her mind.
"Kus taain morukh"
Mother repeats.

At the breakfast
Mother sits unsettled
her hair hangs down
in ringlets and the sweat
on her brow glows
like the horror in her eyes.
"Kus taain morukh"
Mother repeats.

We all leave Mother
and her words
keep her company.
She bleeds before
the wounds appear.
At dusk we all return
except Abbu.
We engage with good thoughts
until mother repeats
"kus taain morukh"

And her fears come alive
at moon rise
as Abbu is brought home
in a gunny bag:
a collateral damage

no
the damage is ours alone.

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Zabirah Fazili

Zabirah Fazili graduated from Government Women’s College (Srinagar) in 2016 and received her Master’s degree in English from University of Kashmir in 2019. Her inclination towards the study of English language and literature has shaped the author interests and instilled in her an aptitude for research and exploration of existing and contemporary literatures. Throughout her post graduate program, Zabirah actively participated in debates, seminars, and symposiums insightful of postcolonial processes and subaltern movements, classical and modern theories in literature and relevant disciplines of knowledge. A wide range of extra-curricular activities and ventures during and after the postgraduate training saw the author give voice to different hidden subject positions (identities) and articulate deliberately ignored experiences of a woman with firsthand colonial experience. Zabirah Fazili has previously published poems like "To a Half Disappearance" in Kashmir Lit and "Until My Freedom has Come" in Oracle Opinions.