Poem

A Promise to the Silent

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This piece is part of the On Palestine Collection.

They say to support the head, hold babies by their neck
But he has neither neck nor head
But he has neither neck nor head
Nothing to cradle or hold
His little mouth cannot smile anymore 

Do you feel the twisting in your gut?

Speak to the father who cradles his child
Like he held him tenderly for his too short life
Tell him why this is happening 
Explain to him the reasoning of why
You can stare at a child without a head
The soul taken from him too quick
His limbs dangling like a doll 
Stare into the tearstained face of the father
And turn away from it all 
Your silence is acquiescence for the bombs

Look at this! Look at what you have caused!
Their deaths are your fault.

Do you not hear the screams of the children?
Do you not hear the wailing of the mothers?
How can you turn your cheek
When the blood spilt is an ocean below your feet?
As the flames rise and engulf the screaming masses
Melt their clothes and char the flesh from their bones

The fires of this world will burn 
The ones who do not deserve it

The tormentors laugh and raze the land
Grand plans, they say they have 
An amusement park – but what amusement
Can you get when
Your parks are built on the bones of children

How dare you remain silent?
How dare you stay quiet?

There will come a day 
When the ones who raise their guns to a child’s eyes
And laugh at a mother’s cries
And celebrate the humiliation and torture of innocents
Will cry in agony before their Lord
Their sins exposed to the world
The crimes they committed will come back to them tenfold
Their scales will be weighed 
The souls of those killed will testify their pain

When that day comes
You will find your silence a heavy weight
You did not speak now, so you cannot speak on that day

The world is singing a song of resistance
A hum and a shout; a cacophony against injustice
The rhythm will force its way into your soul
As their blood settles into the earth below
Each drop of crimson is a promise
Each body burnt is an oath
That the martyrs will never be forgotten

And the complacent will never be forgiven

*Drawing by @yassindraws

Residing in Texas, Sanaa Ali holds a lifelong passion for writing and reading. She received her BS in Psychology from the University of Texas at Dallas with a minor in Literature, and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from Texas Woman's University. On her days off, you can find her cuddling with her three cats or meticulously obsessing over a painting. Sanaa hopes to bring awareness to mental health issues within the Muslim community and is an advocate for dismantling stigmas surrounding such issues.

1 Comment

  1. Javheria Ibrahim Reply

    Subhanallah what a hauntingly beautiful poem. I felt the power of each word deep in my heart.

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