Returning To Your Village

By Nadia Murad

I am twenty-four
led to slaughter
I survived.
– Tadeusz Rózewicz, “The Survivor”

At twenty-four, you returned home
To find the cupboard empty
Of mementoes. The bones of your father,
Your mother, and many brothers,
Lay unattended. It isn’t easy, returning “
To ghosts, to old noises of blood, to graves
Without names. It isn’t easy, returning
To the ground where, terror-eyed,
You had lost your feet.
You preferred death, than have your glances
Torn apart by beasts. To the man
Asking your grief for a message, you said
“Come and see . . .” like Neruda.

You returned like a broken miracle returns
To heal a silenced village. That is all
We hear of your second coming. Perhaps the
Devil you worship arms your soul, helps
Your grieving legs endure the weight of tears.

It takes infidel bones
To walk through a wreckage of idols.

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