Spring Garden

(A tribute to the 50 Hazaras girl victims of Kabul 2021)

The last thing you remembered was a bright light and nothing more

Before that

You were pure energy in human form

A child

You hugged her tight that day before you left

Her apron smelled like spices from baking the last night

In the morning

she reminded you so many times

to move your shoes and grab your books

You struggled to find matching socks

The rooster woke you

before you could see light

peeking around the seams of the curtains

The night before

your Grandpa stopped by

with a soccer ball for all to share

You said a prayer like you were asked to do

You didn’t have opinions about the world

You didn’t have a statement

Your only mission was to have fun

and play with your friends

and grow

Your belief system was just your immediate family

You were born in a place where women are not respected

not cherished

And even though girls hold the exact

same potential as boys

they were considered lessor

A burden

You were supposed to be my mother

You carried the possibility

that was to be me

The day the bomb went off

was the day both of our lights

were extinguished forever

You were a child

and one day in the future

I was going to call you my mother


Now you’re gone

We are gone