We are so delighted to be posting a brand new post written by Aisha Alsafi for our Blessings theme so we hope you enjoy “Track of the dead”
On a platform I stood, patient and still
By an empty train waiting with a growing chill
It was neither early morning, nor was it night,
Here where I stand, Time has no right.
The passengers would soon appear,
I was told they are young and full of fear.
It was always tiresome, guiding the small ones.
They are always confused those innocent daughters and sons..
The same thousand questions they’d ask during our travel up high,
always the same answer they’d get, a sorrowful sigh..
Now, I can hear them, four young boys,
walking towards me with the slightest noise.
“Hello little ones, welcome aboard.”
My voice broke the air, dry and hoarse.
One looked at me, straight in the eyes,
I was astonished by his little frail size..
“Hello, sir” he said with intense strain,
and hopped onto my lifeless old-fashioned train..
Four innocent souls I anxiously counted,
Printed their tickets and swiftly mounted.
Four whistles I blew, and the lifeless train started.
I rarely talk during my tasks,
But I was so very curious so I had to ask..
Three were confused, and never spoke
Yet one answered..
“For hours we played by the calm shiny beach,
it was sunny, bright and the monsters seemed out of reach
but then a sudden ever growing shadow took over the light..
And our world as we know it was out of sight.”
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry ” I wasn’t sure how I sounded!
“But why sir?” The frail one asked confounded.
Of course I thought, the usual query
But I had no answer, I never had one.
“ I’m old” I answered, “ as old as the sun,
I journeyed to the skies with countless different stories
Listened to the young, to the old and their irksome worries
Yet never had I known the reason, of such gruesome deaths
Perhaps humans never knew the value of your innocent breathes
Perhaps evil conquered, and the good does not exist
I cannot tell you the reason child” I spoke,
as the train broke through the mist..
Moments passed, as my puzzled face grew wry
“That’s not what I meant,” a sudden sharp reply
“Why are you sorry sir, there’s no reason to be sorry”
A pretty smile I saw, and I was worried
“ little one, I know its confusing but you are.. dead.”
I continued “ we are moving on, do you understand?!”
“Of course I do“ said the strange boy “ I do understand.
But I am not sorry, you see, I’m one of the lucky chosen”
A bewildered expression sat on my face, frozen..
As the frail boy smiled, a painfully beautiful smile.
“I’ll tell you sir my countless blessings meanwhile,
I was born in the most fascinating rich Land
Where the holy beloved Aqsa firmly stands.
The land of Prophets, history and ancient civilizations,
I grew up strong rooted, loyal to my ravished nation.
I knew kindness and pure love before I could walk,
I felt the warmth of a tender mother before I could talk.
There was my sister’s laugh; its echo warmed a nation,
my grandmother’s stories and pleasant narrations.
Her peculiar scent of herbs and thyme,
that got quite minty during winter times.
I witnessed the most exquisite sunrise, bursting, full of ire!
Golden rays expanding for miles of different shades of fire..
We ran, me and my friends, we played and laughed under the soft rain,
We were the champions to our own made-up games..
There are many more blessings, I could tell you about..”
The boy’s smile faded as he angrily said:
“ I’m Lucky you know, to have left such a world,
Where children fall like the leaves in autumn and there’s no respect to the old,
Where humanity is hastily fading and monsters endlessly breed,
Spreading fear, hatred and their beastly wicked seed.
And most of all, I am blessed for being a martyr.
A brother of one, and a son of a martyr.”
He stopped then, staring into the invisible,
I stood up when it finally halted, my train of the dead.
“Thank you wise boy” was all that I said
They left my train and to the boundless heavens they ran
Four angelic souls, whose eternal joyful life just began.
Of whom I am envious yet very glad..
But then, a ring I heard that made me sad!
Oh dear, another task! not again, another one just died..
No not one, not four but many more I have to guide..
Countless innocent little souls have just fallen,
As many as the crisp leaves in the wildest autumn..
Author: Aisha Alsafi