I Died Before I Lived - Poem by Ashly Harshad
I died before I lived -
Rights, charters, declarations were there;
Locked in black and white with signatures and seals;
Strong in letter and spirit, sound in logic and theories;
Volumes thick bound and unbound rested and rusted;
When I was still struggling to breath.
I am a child born in a civilised society,
Where Rights, freedom, liberty all echoed vociferously;
Only to be shadowed pitifully by violence, apartheid and hatred,
Among the many voices unheard one was mine,
How bad that I died before I lived.
Yet my love for this world was sweet,
To Wake up to the warmth of a dazzling sun;
Running and pretending to catch a fluttering butterfly;
Counting the ripples in that little pond before it passes from sight;
To be part of a quietus night where moon and stars blink and dance;
And finally sleep peacefully to the loving lullaby of my mother;
But I died before I lived.
It would have been a boundless moment or a finest morning;
Had our dingy survived that toughest sea;
A morning of hope and freedom,
Away from total recall of lawlessness;
It would have been a ray of hope-
A life from darkness to light,
How sad I died before I lived.
It was not a quietus night;
It was a tormented dark night of complete wretchedness;
That night when my family bid a final adieu to our homeland;
I was still crying for my favourite toys which I left at home;
My eyes still wet when an assurance to return followed
As my father held me closer;
Not knowing the inevitable we set off.
Before I realised the assurance to return was a blatant lie;
I found myself in the water struggling hard to breathe;
My father's tighter clasp couldn't save me;
I fathomed to the bottom of the sea all alone;
And thus I died before I lived;
Leaving my lifeless body for the heartless world to think.
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