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Poems for Peace competition – 2nd Prize: Halema Malak

Filed under: Poetry

Poems for Peace Competition - 2nd-Prize: read Halema Malak's poem about her last day in Afghanistan and the emotion she felt during the time when she left her hometown.

Leaving Afghanistan

I go back to that day and find
the room almost empty,
everything neatly presented as if
it had never been used. The door
is open to the hallway, and
to my right, the kitchen door
is open for the animals, so their eyes
look straight through the sad house
through the weeping and the chink
of light guides me outside where
the hot sun reflected on the windows
and the beautiful trees, the grass
and flowers dying for lack of water.
I slowly walk to the crowd
gathered near the main door, pass
the people talking, crying, to where
a girl aged ten stands with her shoulders stiff
her body shaking silently. Someone shouts
and the girl turns round. Her puffy red eyes
stare through me. Her pain could be seen
by a blind man. But she can’t see

what journey she’s going to take.

Halema Malak
16 years old
Oxford Spires Academy