Frank Bana


Nazir Behind His Gates - Poem by Frank Bana

My family home comes to assume
hidden gates and padlocked doors

My home has now become my room
and if I had a computer,
a small but steady flow of cash
and electricity

Perhaps I could resume
all my studies here alone
far from the rowdy campus boys
wearing their amulets and rings
who I can trust no more.

My father was a businessman
who now desists from travelling
even over town

My mother was a healthy woman
sturdy, cancer-free

And I was carefree in my turn
with urban cruelty less strong
than this dictatorship of fear

That leaves no public place
no lecture hall or intersecting street
clean of murderous air.

Behind the whitewashed walls I wait
for foreign armies to withdraw
for hope to stand its ground or be restored,
security to win its bout with hate

With stocks and patience running low
five times a day I pray
and genuflect for peace

I wonder if exile provides escape?
For if I stay, it will be easier
to open up these gates, admit defeat

And find my last solution
with the gangs that own the street.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Poem Edited: Thursday, October 14, 2010


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