The Last Wish

The cold bath in the morning triggered nothing;

I did not shiver, I did not cry,

Perhaps, I did not even blink.

They walked me to the doorstep of the end,

Where I would be silenced forever;

Those were moments of mindfulness, as I walked;

I could feel the icy floor pierce the soles of my feet – chained and heavy.

My hair was pulled back so tightly that it hurt,

For the last time, however,

And, thereafter, the last wish.

My last wish, was then, to feel my hair fall on my back

And my mother’s fingers through them,

Her stories, her songs, her laughter;

I wanted to walk through the dark corridors of my temples

And amuse myself with the dust patterns in the sunlight

While my lungs filled up with the scent of tattered pages.

I wanted to sit under the night lamp in my old room,

Delve into the creased yellow pages of history

And listen to the midnight radio.

My last wish was to rekindle the revolutions

Quelled under green stacks of sin,

Massacred by the rifles of power.

I wanted to ease the agony of my sisters

Whose silent tears tilled my parched motherland;

My brothers whose blood and sweat filled our stomachs – my last wish was to fill theirs.

A sudden bout of sickness surged through my veins;

My bruises burned;

Then came the black cloth and my mind blackened along.

I could feel the first touch of rope against my neck;

Revolutionary slogans, subdued shrieks, unfulfilled wishes,

All knotted up inside my throat

Like a volcano at the hem of eruption.

At that moment, I thought I heard my mother,

As she sang to me and tried to lull me into sleep;

It was disturbingly peaceful.

And, then, the noose tightened!


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