As If It Never Happened . . .

Avishi GurnaniMay 18, 2022Time and SpacePoetry

Particles of sand, remains of a time long gone
Blow toward her eyes, she pulls her hijab closer, her face looking down
As tiny fingers grasp her hand, asking for a promise she cannot give
Gunshots echo through the bare streets, warning those who dare to stand up.
Salty tears flow down her bruised cheeks, her ring snug over the fourth finger of her left hand
A reminder of whom she had not seen for months. Where had he gone?
She knew but dare not say out loud, for then, the tiny fingers could grasp no one

A silence for a minute, a second too long
The tear gas bombed the street as he ran back, crying freely.
For his country’s freedom, his own pride, and the tear gas in his eyes.
Officers clad in green and black storming the streets, that used to be for merriment.
Those days, those times forgotten, like he would soon be — the unsung, the uncelebrated.
When? He had asked once on the last day he went to school.
His teacher didn’t give a reply, so he knew there was none

Wedding bells ringing.
Before a different sound is heard
Blaring from the TV, one word reverberating — "War"
A missile, a bomb exploding inches away. Hesitant to grab a gun
The very soil that was home was now a battlefield littered with the carcasses
Of those fighting, poised to fire, hands trembling as many a minute pass
A scream is heard, before the silence

As they round a table, discussing a peace treaty in the end,
To let life go on once more
As if the questions were all answered
As if nothing ever happened, as if . . .

Avishi Gurnani is a 12-year-old student at New Town Primary School in Singapore. She has published three books of her own, and is always poking around for new platforms to express her passion for writing.