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January 11, 2013

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To  Kurdish Children Massacred in Roboski ( Uldure)

Kurdishaspect.com - Poem by Dr.Amir Sharifi

In the midst of a narrow and snow covered trail,

when the dark mist was rising, 

when an eagle had perched on a mountain rock,

in a shroud of mist, a caravan of men was returning to the village.

The caravan had just crossed the border that had crossed them a long time ago.

They were bringing back staples, fuel and necessities,

loaded on their donkeys and mules.

All of a sudden, nothing but a lightning bolt,

The cold moon lit night exploded. 

The glistened sky roared and reddened.

The world below sparkled like a bright ball of fire,

Surrounding and engulfing strewn men, children, donkeys, and mules 

Devouring the young flesh, mutilated 

reflected in the eyes of the animals ablaze

dying, shivering with fever,  

Men and animals torn asunder, 

dismembered, decapitated, charred 

That day in December, in that distant mountain at dusk

The aerial executioners massacred 35 men, 

17 of them school children, presumably menacing militants.  

Oh! Hussein, the Kurdish school boy of Roboski

You had gone into smuggling only two months ago,

Your mother had warned you against the danger but you chuckled

until your mother was annoyed.

Hussein, did you know that such things would happen to you in the prime of your life?

You must have heard how your fellow countrymen have been killed, 

Their horses and mules taken out one by one by the Iranian Islamic Guards,

Did you know that many poor fellow Kurds like you had fallen on the other side of your assaulted and mined frontiers That for a meager earning your tired fellow countrymen with their numb legs trek the boundaries of the countries that share the map of your land, before soldiers find their footprints and trail of their frozen words in the air?

Did you know that those who do not know you can kill you in cold blood?

And all this near your own village that they have renamed Uldure

And how defenseless your grandfather  must have felt when they took his land away from him:

his pasture lands, wheat fields, flocks of sheep, 

And banished, tortured, imprisoned those villagers who did not want to become Korucu “ village guards”?

You must have been told that the Turkish soldiers burned the homes of those who were not pacified. Hussein, why were you then so excited?

What were you thinking about?

Were you thinking about the gift that you would bring your sisters?

Why did your mother find you in such a happy mood?

Would you not believe that your remote and impenetrable land can be found within a fraction of moment? You must have known about American Predators,

You must have known that the U.S is on their side. 

Would you believe that at 19 they would prepare a tomb for you

in a thunderous storm that would even set your snow covered mountains afire?

Did you know your mother’s life will be nothing but weeping for you

praying night and day that the killers be found?

Now you lie dead along with other corpses in the shadow of a mountain,

wrapped in a blanket on the winter snow on a hillside, 

your relatives sitting and gazing,

in bewilderment, shocked, furious,

In perpetual silence of sunken heads ,

in mournful prayers for the dead,

In alarmed voices of protest, 

in the profound wound and grief of your mother, 

before whose “ grief  the mountains stoop1”

in the plucking of lamentations of a tambour, 

in expectations of unlikely revelations,

All in search of an answer already found.

Those who dropped the bomb continue their lies.

Turkey will receive more arms and aids from U.S and NATO,

and praised for its enviable democracy.

No one has been sought or punished for the massacre.

But Hussein, the burned flower of December, you will continue to weigh heavily on their impunity.

The cry of your mother behind the windowpane awaiting your return from school,

Your deserted place in the classroom and the school yard,

and the mournful eyes of your sister will seek the truth out.

1-Anna Akhmatova (1935-1940). Dedication

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