Parwana Amiri is an author, poet and activist from Afghanistan who is living in Greece since September 2019. Her poetry may seem softly written, but it contains hidden stories and bitter truths.
Many people among the younger generation are thinking that if their ancestors were refugees and migrants from another country then they would not be so quick to judge those around them. This poem is a warm , lovely dialogue among a boy and his grandma that describes the lost dreams of his mother that wanted to find her child in it .
Illustration by Nazgol Muradi
We also had a house and a homeland for ourselves, but our house and our homelands got destroyed. We lost our beloved ones and our dreams, but we were brave to stand strong and leave our homeland to prepare the future of our children. We emigrated and moved away from our homes and became refugees “strangers”. But suddenly our weak shelters were set on fire and children were injured. We are human beings and we have the right to live in peace.
Now, it is you…and…they
You were so little, formed of blood
For nine months, she carried you
You were crying, you were yelling
With a warm hug, she enveloped you
She raised you and stayed with you
In the most critical moments
If she would have to choose
Your life or hers
She would wait, would hesitate
After a while, she would say
With a smile, it is “you”
Now, that she is gone, deep in the sky,
She watches you, she aids you
She admonishes: “stay strong”!
Focus your efforts, be the winner
Of this battle!
Now it is you … and… they
They who know endless pain in their veins
They who have no choice, no voice
Just orders they fear they must obey
If you are up and see them down
Hold their hands, help them be seen
Let them be heard through the world
With their own words!
That’s what she wants to see you do
If life is short, keep this in mind:
Each action counts and past is past
Use your time, warm your heart
Stay on your path, don’t feel unsafe
Life is a gamble, break the chains of doubt
We are all passengers of one train
Whose stations are uncertain
Those who now live under tents
With so much fear, so many worrying tears
Who lost their life, among these trails
Who are being killed in prisons
Take them away from freezing winds
Shelter them, with your heart
Share your love with compassion
Understand their repressed passion
For all those nights, they have tried so hard
Yes, now it is….I and…they.