Aasifa …….. The footprints you left in…..

The footprints you left in the

Forest won’t disappear, they’ve

Hardened the soil beneath them,

The soil will not let them go until

We make a map out of them and

Find you and when we have we’ll

Water the soil slowly and grow

Trees strong and thick enough that we

Don’t have any footprints there, again.

The nightmares of your contrived sleep

Has haunted the devi (god) of the temple, her home

Doesn’t seem to have enough peace for you, she’s

Roaming around searching for a home that does,

She can’t seem to find it yet but when

She does, she’ll take you there so no one

Has to leave a temple hopeless.

They pierced your innocence with

Blunt knives, they braided your veins in

Knots that we can’t undo now, but we’ll find

A way to build your spirit, slowly in our own

Little ways, perhaps by tearing their souls apart

Until they give you back the pieces they stole

From you.

We won’t let them turn you into newspaper

Headlines that can be folded, we’ll turn you into

Words that echo until you’re satisfied and then

You’ll be a song that has music to accompany it,

So we can remember you as the child you are,

Without wrapping you in melancholy.

You’ll stay here until we have enough to let you go,

Until we find a gravestone strong enough to hold the

Name “Asifa”, until we find sufficient soil to cover you,

Until we find a creed to give you solace.

Hafsa Mukhtar