Sana’s father told me.

Lahore, Poetry

Sana’s father told me,

With tears in his eyes,

That come what may,

Every man has to die.

He said so,

Sitting next to me,

Sobbing for his son

And exhaling an old man’s sighs.

He said, “I fought two wars.

I spent years in enemy’s prisons.

I lost friends and brothers,

In the name of this Dust,

For thirty-six years.

And, my son was luckier

Than me in six.

Boys are supposed

To bury their fathers;

Boys are supposed

To become men with families;

Boys aren’t supposed

To precede their fathers

Into the arms of Eternal Sleep.

I told him not to fly.

I told him his career

Was already made.

But, I couldn’t let me stop him.

I couldn’t stop him

From capturing the

Ultimate honour for a man

And a soldier.

I couldn’t do it thirty-six.

He did it in six.”

Sana’s father, I tried to console.

I told him he knew what

It all meant, better than any man.

Sana’s father told me,

“Shells fell left and right,

And they could not get me.

Bullets and shrapnel flew

And tore men to bloody shreds,

And still they could not get me.

Enemy’s taunts and the shame

Of losing half my country

Couldn’t get me.

I couldn’t do it thirty-six.

He did it in six.”

Sana’s father told me this

Crying an old man’s tears

For his young son.

The honour was his.

But, his son was gone.

Too far to call.

Too cold to hold.

And, now, these thoughts

Prey at my heart,

As I pour dust on

Sana’s father’s cold body,

Next to the tumulus

That swallowed his son

On a bright sunny day,

Not unlike today.

In memory of Col. Muhammad Ikram Khan (Retired) & his son, Capt. Kamran Ikram Khan Shaheed. May Allah bless you both.

29/01/10 4:00AM

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