Asifa

Carrying a thousand scriptures
That hid their thousand depredations.
When you cried little Asifa, nobody heard
Your predators had turned deafened brutes;

Asifa

By Joe Palathunkal

(Asifa Bano, 8 year old, was abducted and raped by several people inside a temple between 10 January 2018 and 17 January 2018. One of these days she was murdered. Today July 6: Feast of Saint Maria Goretti, patron of rape victims.)

When God cried
And the tear-drops drenched the walls of a temple
Man’s heart turned stone to stone women,
Carrying a thousand scriptures
That hid their thousand depredations.
When you cried little Asifa, nobody heard
Your predators had turned deafened brutes;
They had injected themselves
With the poisonous brew of perverted nationalism
And putrefied creed.
Your cries pierces like a sword into my soul
And I see my land drenched with your tears
And a million daughters trembling in fears
And I tremble for the criminal silence sans outrage
On mouths that go eloquent
When throne of power beckons with a bone!
Your cries from this Gethsemane
Turned into blood to draw the map of my land
With the brush of agony
And your innocent face glares at everyone
Filling the whole cartographic design with a question:
How will you redraw the map of your nation
Without my agonizing face?

(Joe Palathunkal is Associate Editor, Living in Faith)

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