i am grateful for the silence in the night as a i sleep

there are no gunshots from near or far, intermittent, startling,

i walk on the streets, the sky is blue above, a helicopter’s whir

i feel no fear, no thought of chemical weapons, no not one, no none

my child goes to school, sometimes i forget how not everyday is that


the child soldier, the child kidnapped and raped, the child running

down the street naked in some magazine’s famous shot, the child

human shield proffered to the barrel of the gun, the child with bloodied

face echoing the blast of a bomb, the child refused shelter for her people are

not wanted, reviled, the child brutalised, sometimes i forget how everyday is that


it’s not that i have never been near war, oh i’ve been evacuated, i too have sat in the

dim candle light in darkened corridors, listening to the planes flying low above

carrying destruction and death, yes, there have been many nights like that

i guess they stay in the memory, tucked away, a warning system in the gut, stirred

by new wars, wars we can see, wars hidden, wars… sometimes i forget how everyday is that


despite those calm nights, that blameless sky, there’s a sickness rising in me which blank verse

will surely not heal, but it might let me scream, senselessly, let me ache, let me tear and rend

for again a child has been smote by war, a carefully hidden war it is, in the guise of civilisation

she was eight, as i once was

wars all around and within us murdering, wrenching, raping, marauding, killing, raping

that gunshots free night, that sunlight filled sky… sometimes i forget how not everyday is that



in memory of a beautiful child. and in disarray and shame.


indrani’s index