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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pale Pink Bricks

Pale pink you picked those bricks
Ahmed went to get them
from ‘Kasra wa Aattash’
and the Egyptian laborer
mispronounced his Islamic name…

Pink, you thought or maybe sand-colored,
as you decided where you wanted to place them
and plant a home in the hearts
of your growing children.

Strong, you thought
so they would not break
as times tried them
and the wars did…

Under the sun
you would touch up the hues
with teachings of tolerance
of everything different...

The letters you engraved
and the notes you played,
the 45s scratched with
foreign etchings
silent as they screeched…
and the yellowed pages
of alien words
baked with the ancient knowledge
you parted…

But the wars outdid the bricks
they splintered the love
and everything in between
and created these chinks
of detachment
that you eventually crawled into…

The spectrum of confusion
dimming the light
of your bright bright eyes
and yet your faith
in our homecoming

When Ahmed
had picked them up
at 'Kasra wa Attash',
he never asked
the brick-layer
if the stuff
was war-proof.

But you knew,
it would survive the shrapnel,
live through the blackouts...
as we craved light…

And we never really left, Father.
We built these outposts of transition
as we tried to stay sane...

In our hearts and in our minds
we’ve always lived
under the warmest shades
of your pale pink dreams
and always will…

Note: For my siblings, Ahmed and Zinnah.