Lahore, Easter Sunday, 2016

POETRY FORMAT, 10 Apr 2017

Barbara Millar – TRANSCEND Media Service

On this day the Taliban bombed a popular playground/park which was well attended by families and their young children.  Because it was Easter, they were targeting Christian children and their families, though Muslim, Hindu, Jewish children and their families were also killed.

Blessed child of my child, son of the dawn over the Indian
Ocean, darling of robins who sing in the spring;
it was a perfect day, balmy air and gentle breezes.
The bulbs sleeping in the earth burst through their skins
and adorned the daffodils in yellow dresses, dogwood
put forth thick white blossoms, tulips wore scarlet garb
hollyhocks against the hedges,
silver roses curled around a carousel.
I taught you the names of all the flowers in my garden
where you fell in love with ladybugs and hated spiders.
You watched the silkworm feast on mulberry.
Before you were two, you knew the succulence
of truffles on roasted lamb with jasmine rice.
You lived each day anew with that ineffable delight
reserved for the aged and innocent.
Each laugh set my heart assail like golden lanterns
on an evening lake.  Your eyes were two coals on fire.
All my hopes and all my dreams lay within
the parenthesis of your smile.
That was before the Taliban.
Who knows what turns men to beasts who lack

remorse for the slaughter of women and children?
Wiser and ennobled men, who understand
the obscurity of war, curse and weep .
The shrapnel took the lion’s face
and broke the tiger’s back.
The giraffe’s neck was cut in half.
The pony lost his shaggy main.
The spray of nails tore through
the swan’s feathered  breast and your brain.
No one caught the golden ring the day the music stopped.


Barbara Millar is a free lance writer and poet from northern California who was a young anti-war protester during the Vietnam War.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 10 Apr 2017.

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One Response to “Lahore, Easter Sunday, 2016”

  1. Gary Corseri says:

    Wow! Very powerful. More so because of the quiet beauty of the beginning–and about 2/3–of the poem. And then, the shattering explosion.

    Not “mankind,” but “manunkind,” the great poet, e. e. cummings wrote. Truly, we are becoming “beasts who lack remorse,” as Barbara Millar writes here. “What hath God wrought?” was the old question. But, modern humans have mastered the thunder and lightning bolts of Zeus, the sea-winds and cyclones of Neptune, the miracle of atomic energy. So we wonder: “What have we wrought?” Can we not wring the miracle of empathy out of our equations?