By Maryam Sa’eed Otuh
Here is where our story ends;
In the lost pages of history,
Because I told them they shouldn’t have stayed.
Maybe the boy with the toothy grin would have survived that day.
They had flags for armour instead of bulletproof vests.
No one told them they were going to war.
Their voices were raised high in solidarity until they cracked,
Like scratched disks in a rustic DVD player.
I no longer know how to love something that finds new ways to break me apart.
I have picked pieces of myself from muddy waters.
I, too, am tired,
I, too, am angry,
But I told them that the pain is less intense for those who decide to stay broken.
Maybe if they listened, we wouldn’t be bleeding still.
Why should my heart keep breaking for a boy who may never love again?
I once ground my heart into powder,
And poured it into his empty shell full of holes.
He carries it with pride even though nothing stays, nothing holds.
Green, white, green. The colour of his eyes. The colour of their armour.
The boy with the toothy smile,
If only he remained broken,
Maybe love isn’t enough to conquer hate.
Maybe hope isn’t enough to bring about change.
Maybe a mother wouldn’t have lost a son,
We won’t be bleeding still.
Here is where our story ends.