Poems for Peace competition – 2nd Prize: Halema Malak

Contributor/s : Halema Malak

Recorded on date : November 30, 2020

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

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