Wednesday, July 15, 2015


By Khairani Barakka

This is what they will say about my daughter
And her eyes: that the way they haunt your
 Memories are vestiges of trauma, of how a
 Child was caught between battling tribes,
 Her reddened feet, chapped and just visible
 Beneath one ragged hemline, laid waste to
 Near-bleeding. Girl, aged eight, page 11.

 It was her birthday. She was smiling again,
 Moments after the man left our village,
 Having been unsure of how to reconcile the
 Reach of zoom lenses with a robot cartoon
 Seen that morning—both unwieldy, pointing.
 Washing off the ruddy paint we’d placed
By her room. The war had never touched
Our subdistrict; all roads to it were closed by
 3PM. Their jeep driver would never ring the
 Bureau chief. My daughter stood by the side
 Of the road, having drawn a rusty, laughing
 Rooster on paper with the balls of her heels.

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