Their Songs | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 15, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, December 15, 2018

Poetry

Their Songs

Shake, oh grave;
my wailing voice
is the autumn wind.
   – Basho 
 
I know a craven Mir Jafar
when I see one, pleading 
with me softly, sweetly,
like a dear friend
to shake off the past
as if I were a newborn.
 
But I am who I am for that
eerie night in March
when homes collapsed
and the heavens cried
in the manic tank fires
of Yahya's henchmen, 
who wished to paint our land 
red with Bengali blood.
Buried lives tell no tales;
but I know the ones who died –  
fathers and mothers,
brothers and sisters – 
for no fault of their own
but for seeking a better life.
 
Those gunshots amidst screams
haunted me for nine months:
endless nights of horrid dreams
seared deep in my heart.
 
They live in my songs
to sing of that March night – 
we must live in freedom
to honor the fallen lives.
 
The poet is a Professor of English 
at the University of Texas Rio 
Grande Valley, USA.

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