Aquib Hyder


I remember my childhood caught in barbed wire
I remember the smile of a child lost in a curfewed night
I remember the echo of his mother’s wail
I remember her tears waiting for her disappeared son
I remember the bride’s gown stained by the blood of her murdered groom
I remember an ageless, bony face trampled by jackboots
I remember the moonless sky
I remember the martyrs of my soil



In a valley, ballads of freedom are muted by owl hoots
Chirping birds are frightened by the march of jackboots

In a valley, a mother stares at frozen nothingness
Longing for a lost embrace, a last hug

In a valley, a father longs for his son’s sepulcher
Where are you my groom, who will tow our boat?

In a valley, a stone is answered by a fatal bullet
Treachery and deception have ruled for years

Yet, you can hear a wail everywhere
From heaps of cadavers and pools of blood

We will not bow down
We will not bow down

Aaqib Hyder, a student of science in Kashmir, blogs at where these poems first appeared in a different form

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