Letters From the Battlefield in Kashmir / Poem by Linda B. Scanlan

Letters From the Battlefield in Kashmir

My dear friend –

Don’t be proud of me !
I’m nothing
Or was …..

Things are changing rapidly
Some things stay the same….

Consider this –
The mother’s anguish upon learning
Her only son – her heart – her life –
Was murdered
She hugs the bag
Which carried his body home
She sits
Holding it against her
Staring at a bag full of emptiness…….

I write to you
Isolated from these terrors
You witness horrors first hand
Have never known peace
Not one day in your young life
Never have known agency
Over your own personhood
A travesty……..

Inhumane ….

You live
Under a regime of oppression
The pinnacle
Of man’s inhumanity to man
And women
Silenced …….

You thrive under conditions
so challenging tears turn inward ……

You are great !
Who reads this letter by dim light
Sleeping in the glow of moonlight
Underneath a deep dark sapphire sky
Resting in apple fields
In summertime
Inhaling air so sweet it’s dizzying….

Everyday you rise
Perform your ablutions
Pray your prayers
With the hope – fervant belief – this day
Will be the day
When insanity ceases……

When cold blooded murderers
Torturers participating
In heinousness so egregious God cries
Stop…look around…ask…
What am I doing here….

What is this madness…

Who benefits from the status quo …….

Maybe today the good news will come on a tail wind….

Sounds like fantasy
It would be monumental
This is all it takes ..it is that simple
Someone gives the order
Put down your guns
A longed for cease fire declared
Announcing negotiations have begun….

You would not have to find reasons to smile my precious friend….
You wouldn’t stop….

Your smile now is an act of radical defiance
Fierce untethered courage……

Maybe today will be that day….


Linda B. Scanlan, 2019©

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