Afzal Moolla… A Child of War

 

A Child of War

As she lies bleeding
the girl who skipped and hopped to school
all of nine and a half years old
with ribbons in her hair and a laugh that was
her father’s pride
 
As she lies bleeding
the warm bullet lodged in her torn stomach
she stares at her skipping rope
as her blood soaks it the colour of the cherries her mummy buys
 
As she lies bleeding
she sees the people through the thick black smoke
blurred visions of scattering feet and shoes left behind
hearing nothing but the pinging in her blown-out eardrums
 
As she lies bleeding
she slips away quickly and then she is dead
a mangled heap of a nine and a half year old girl
whose laugh was her father’s pride
 
As she lies bleeding
for even in death she bleeds some more
the warm bullet wedged in her torn stomach
steals the light from her bright little eyes
as she lies bleeding
 

in Jallianwala Bagh in ‘19

Leningrad in ‘42

Freetown in ‘98

Soweto in ‘76

Jenin in ‘02

Hanoi in ‘68

Beirut in ‘85

Kabul now

Basra still

Gaza too
 
As she lies bleeding
this little nine and a half year old girl
whose laugh was her father’s pride
we know she’ll bleed and bleed some more
tomorrow and in many tomorrows yet unborn
with that warm bullet in her stomach
ripped open and torn
 
As she lies bleeding.
 

Afzal Moolla was born in New Delhi, India while his parents were in exile, fleeing Apartheid South Africa. His father Mosie Moolla represented the African National Congress (ANC) in India, Egypt and Finland.

Afzal returned to South Africa following the unbanning of the ANC and the release of Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners. He works and lives in Johannesburg, and shares his literary musings with his most strident critic – his 12 year old cat – Scully.

 

Copyright © 2012 by Afzal Moolla