Writing & Photo Contest 2017 Runner-Up — Poetry

My mother says she misses home
And I can see whole villages collapsing in her eyes
And though her skin is silky like the waters that raised her
I watch an entire civil war
Waging between her bones

She asks me if I know what it’s like
To have a whole city swallow me up
Like I am the last drink of water on earth
Like war is an art form in itself
This sort of desolation is an exhibit
Where the words “trauma” and “grief” hang on the walls

Like war
Is a country
Where the flags are at half-mast
And every road is a dead end
And houses aren’t homes any longer

So when they ask why you speak in a foreign tongue
Open your mouth and let your accent wrap around their head
Like your language is the only thing that can save them
Like the weight of your country
Is too heavy for their backs

This was an entry in the 2017 Writing & Photo Contest.

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