Dimmed lights. Black shrouds on otherwise welcoming furniture. Incense heavy in the air. Home decked for funerals of family long lost. Sorrow spilled fresh every year.
The ninth night, and the women in black huddle methodically on the carpet. Heirloom diaries are cracked open, fingers caress verses written by their mothers and their mothers' mothers. Mourning rises from within deep bellies and combusts on meeting air. Family poems, more sung than recited, give voice once more to the ancient matriarchs whose hearths first hosted black battlements.
The verses crescendo, anguish reverberating with beating chests. Banners bearing eternal sigils of peace will remain defiantly unfurled until the passing of the tenth day of war. But the war returns next year, every year.
The women will welcome it home.
Bio: After trying to save the world as a consultant at PwC, Hasan Jamal finally jumped out of the cold corporate world of capitalism and became an educator. Dabbling in fiction, creative nonfiction and amateur illustration, Hasan is always on the lookout for bits of Big Magic. Hasan works with Dheere Bolo, an activist cultural impact publishing house, creating content to promote reading and stories from
Hasan writes at asobservedbyjay.blogspot.com and dheerebolo.com Pakistan