Ashes, ashes we all fall down by Khatija Khan

Mirror
A still from the film Mirror by Andrei Tarkovsky

surely, the earth is a wicked old woman
who steals stainless steel bones to bury it under her skin, adding one more bone and one more year to her stock
𝘮𝘺 𝘵𝘰𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳
𝘮𝘺 𝘱𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸
𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘢 𝘵𝘰𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘧𝘢𝘪𝘳𝘺 𝘷𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘵 𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵?

little girls with neatly combed brown ponytails circle around and sing ringa ringa roses in unicorn printed pink frocks
with hearts where boats kiss sunsets painted on lakes
with minds where forests grow for their children to play squirrel games in tree rooms
the poem ends and 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘧𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘯

time runs too fast, the speedometer broke and no images seem to be formed on the retina
a forest fire burns trees to the ground
eagles torture young pigeons of peace
disney turns sony, toys turn knives
reality kidnaps fairytales and happy endings submit leave letters to their school principal
𝘴𝘶𝘣𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵- 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘱𝘢𝘭

daughters birth sons, daughters kill granddaughters
daughters get old and no one anymore calls them girls what should you wait for when there is nothing awaiting you?
what stays home when all is gone?
what does one’s death do to another’s life?
no nursery rhyme is sung today, but i see
𝘢𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘴, 𝘢𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘴, 𝘸𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘧𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘯

Khatija Khan