• Poem for Asifa

    Nabina Das

    April 12, 2018


    Tribute to Asifa

    A-ll grey and weathered on the valley and before
    s-he was gone once and all, the sky had trembled
    i-ndented grass flowers bent down to wipe tears from the night before
    f-allen birds, stunned at human treachery,
    a-ltered the horizon forever

    After I write this acrostic verse above
    poetry wants to part ways —
    what is the need for rhyme and worse,
    where shall we keep our vices and smirks
    if this should be the way of our conscience

    Asifa, the girl who's just a face now
    Asifa, who could be my child today
    if I chose to birth her in another life
    Asifa, who took the horse out to graze, then
    — the dew fell, night shivered, she was gone

    I'm calling poetry back to service
    I'm seeing through Asifa's eyes to see all wrongs
    I'm holding hands with my people
    children mothers rebels lovers
    I'm singing: no longer suffer, Asifa, my girl
    I'm freeing the words to rise free like birds

    Nabina Das is a poet and writer. She was born in Assam and is currently based in Hyderabad. She was a 2016 Commonwealth Foundation correspondent, and an alumna of Charles Wallace fellowship, Sangam House, and Wesleyan Writers Conference.

    Orijit Sen is a graphic artist, cartoonist, muralist and designer. He is author of the graphic novel River of Stories as well as many other works of graphic fiction and non-fiction. He is one of the founders of People Tree, a collaborative studio and store for artists, designers and craftspeople. Sen is also Mario Miranda Chair Visiting Professor at Goa University.

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