We had a home once,
but it was torn apart.
The sky disappeared
while the ground split open across the village,
as if the Soviets were in a game of connect-the-dots.
As if this land wasn’t dirty enough,
pieces that once came together,
and stood proud to be our town,
and settled backwards.
In a panic, I gathered my children, my wife.
I would’ve given up a toe from each, perhaps a leg as well.
I only hoped we’d escape, all their tiny hearts still beating.
And in a second, I hated my wife,
with her giant belly-
she moved so slowly,
carrying my youngest son.
There was an end to the chaos,
brief but so sweet in its stillness.
The quiet nights are what I’d imagined
as a young man, dreaming of a family
not yet in existence.
I even enjoy it- the cherished hush
of an Afghan night
when there are no interruptions,
no unrest or disturbance,
only the sweeter stirring of my youngest,
as I grip that soft, safe sleeping place,
as I listen closely,
I’m kept awake
by the steady murmur of my family’s heart,
unable to sleep and grateful for it.