Poppy Fields and Cedar Trees
Poppy Fields and Cedar Trees by Shagufta Iqbal
On Sunday we remembered,
on Sunday we said never again,
lest we forget.
On Monday it was noted
that bows were not bowed enough.
That chests, red robin, were not proud enough.
On Tuesday we sold a £4 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia.
On Wednesday we held our breath.
On Thursday, quietly, invisibly Beirut fell.
On Friday Paris too fell.
On Saturday refugees
ambushed by borders,
swallowed by seas,
were compared to rodents.
Facism was never really defeated.
We will soon be at war.
We are good at war.
On Saturday my head is heavy.
On Sunday I need air.
On Sunday I walk through woods with my children.
We want to colour our hands with the redness of poppies.
Behind us we do not hear the fall of a cedar tree.
© Shagufta Iqbal, from SLAM! You’re Gonna Wanna Hear This, chosen by Nikita Gill, Macmillan, 2020