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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 42 October 14, 2023

A Child Speaks From Gaza | Sagari Chhabra

Saturday 14 October 2023, by Sagari Chhabra

I am under a rubble,
without water or bread;
my mother and father
are lying face down, dead.
My little sisters, aged five and seven,
have been taken as hostages
and will soon be sent to jannat, heaven.
I do not know how long I have to live,
for no one has anything to give.
The electricity has been cut off,
all roads lead to the morgue,
there is something in vogue,
geo-politics of the rogue,
playing out in a frenzy
on a strip of land called Gaza,
where in a spiral of violence
Generals are going gaga,
over changing its shape,
while we live on its nape.
What did I do
to be lying here,
under slabs of concrete, smoke and debris;
shards of glass have entered my body;
blood is seeping to the ground,
but lying here I have found,
a secret;
let me share it with you:
nothing matters more than life,
and a shared humanity beyond this strife;
work for peace,
beyond this well-oiled machinery of power –
those generals with uniformed medals
reeking of blood and entrenched mud;
there are no heroes in war,
only grisly gore;
I have no days of sunrise
left to me anymore.
I am thirteen years old
and sure to die,
but the smell of gas
will become a cloud
and turn into a greenhouse shroud.
Farewell my friend,
You too will meet this end.

Sagari Chhabra
12 October 2023

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