by Makola


The right word

by Imtiaz Dharker

Outside the door,

lurking in the shadows,

is a terrorist.

Is that the wrong description?

Outside that door,

taking shelter in the shadows,

is a freedom fighter.

I haven’t got this right .

Outside, waiting in the shadows,

is a hostile militant.

Are words no more

than waving, wavering flags?

Outside your door,

watchful in the shadows,

is a guerrilla warrior.

God help me.

Outside, defying every shadow,

stands a martyr.

I saw his face.

No words can help me now.

Just outside the door,

lost in shadows,

is a child who looks like mine.

One word for you.

Outside my door,

his hand too steady,

his eyes too hard

is a boy who looks like your son, too.

I open the door.

Come in, I say.

Come in and eat with us.

The child steps in

and carefully, at my door,

takes off his shoes.