Treasure Island

Shafiqul Islam


I am suffering from insomnia


I am suffering from insomnia


I spend sleepless nights.
The cry of a newborn baby,
abandoned in Ramna Park,
renders Sukantu’s declaration a lie.


Sitting on the sidewalk, under the shade of a banyan tree,
near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
who is she, begging with pale sad eyes?
A tired hungry child cries,
his hands clutching her shoulders.


As I look at her why does the face
of an Afghan boy, his face torn
by cluster bomb, rise before my eyes?


Why do I see the faces of young people,
children and old women,
wildly running in every direction?
why do I see so many coffins
full of martyrs’ corpses?
why is these such a long procession of tears?

When I see such things,
tell me, please, how can I go to sleep?


The cries of my brother, the cries of my mother
break my heart.
I know, the frightened shriek
of a young maiden
will not stop their air raids.
We know, the tears of the gecko
did not stop the fire’s holocaust.


Yet it is true that these days
I do not sleep well.
A mighty migraine performs a sacred ritual
inside my head
and prays for sorrow and pain.



------

Submitted: Wednesday, August 13, 2008

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