Whose Side Are You On

A mother sings a lullaby

in the moonlight.

Stars sparkle

over the Jhelum.

A father walks outside

to lock the gate

and looks across the bund

on to the silent river,

Black as night.

Footsteps in the dark

Stomp, crush

Tar and leaves

Dry as paper.

Where are they headed,

He wonders.

and hurries back inside.

The night becomes darker.

Even stars hide.

They march

Through the village,

Boy soldiers,

Toy soldiers.

Wielding guns and grenades,

and their swagger.

Rap. Tap. Rap. Tap

The teachers house

His father’s house

The doctor’s house

His mother’s house

His brother’s house

A traitor’s house.

Wind carries over the dark river

And rustles through

the still of night.

His silent scream

reaches their ears.

Whose side are you on?


The country waits.

Our leader waits.

Blood will flow

on our side and theirs.

(Copyright: Maya Mirchandani. 2016.) 

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