The Descendants

Hafsah remembers Srebrenica.

Hafsah Remembering Srebrenica.


A pendulum broken,

Collapsed – Time laid its head on concrete slab,

Raked a hand among the fields, hid in whispering

Riverbeds – a cello strums Strauss

Over blooming lily hills, caught by wind,

Carried to the still, asleep within the forests where

Bullets mark the barks, spirits of the column

Where men and boys once marched

A golden lock of hair, shards of shattered bone

A thousand mothers wait

For sons to come back home.


Draped green coffins, all in measured lines

Time kneels between them, hands wire bound, tight

Discarded rubber boots casket nail and skin

Earth-stained squares of families – sepia images

Black frames, broken watches, remains of someone’s brother,

Mother, sister, son and uncle; clothes

Strewn together, a headless doll, a little teddy bear,

A jaded world turns in every father’s tear.


Name after name, chiseled into stone

Time wanders in between , blows dust from every letter

A woman – aglaze, clasps a tiny pocket book

Each page a stoked memory, all berry stained

Broken glass bottles, burns on sacred flesh

Wombs were the kilns of the battlefield instead.

Villages now whitewashed, cities darken in the night

Red flowered chairs glisten under moonlight

Time has turned its cheek on a particular refrain –

A gramophone on loop weeping, ‘Never again’


by Hafsah Aneela Bashir

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