No Man's Land - Poem by Taslima Nasrin
If your homeland does not give you home,
Then tell me what land in the world will give you home.
After all, all the lands are more or less the same kind,
The rulers have the same appearance, the same character.
When they seek to persecute you, they do it the same way.
They pierce you with needles with the same glee.
They sit stony-faced before your crying, dancing all the while within.
They may have different names, but even in the dark you'll know them,
Their loudness, their whispers, their footsteps will betray them,
When they rush in the direction the wind takes,
The wind will tell you who they are.
Rulers are rulers after all.
The harder you try to persuade yourself that no homeland belongs to people, to those who love it,
The more you persuade someone that it's yours,
That you have cast it in your heart,
That you have mapped it with the brush of your labour and dreams,
Where will you go when the rulers drive you out?
What land opens its doors to shelter one who's been driven out?
How can you think of any land offering you home?
You are nobody now,
Maybe not even human.
Whatever else is there for you to lose?
Drag the world into the open and tell it,
Let it give you a spot there to stand, to give you a home there,
From now on let the bit of unwanted piece of earth be yours
That remains as no one's once the borders of a land close.
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