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A Poet

My grandmother was a poet.  

An amazing, one.  

She wrote shayari and gazals.  

Her father was a poet too.  

He wrote in Urdu,  

before illness took over  

and people say  

he went crazy.  

So they burnt his books,  

trying to cure him. 

They lit fire  

to memories and words  

that will never return again.  

My grandmother was a poet.  

Her diary is lost to time  

And I’m grieving a person I never saw become.  

My mother was never a poet  

But she is a singer, 

Sings better than the nightingale can, 

She just doesn’t know it.  

Words and memories became a person, 

But they say history doesn’t matter.  

How do I then explain myself as a trickster? 

An actor,  

I can memorize lines 

And I can show you the emotion, 

The right one that you ask for. 

I can write some lines too.   

I’m not a singer. 

But my family has been asking me  

to dance a prayer, 

I don’t know what a prayer is.  

The book is burning, no body picked it.  

My grandmother was a poet.  

Yet no body remembers her.  

Introduction to the Piece: There are artists everywhere around us. Yet only a few of us get the privilege of being remembered. I want my grandmother to be remembered. Even if it’s through me. I want someone to know her personhood outside of me and acknowledge it. I want her to live outside the walls of identities she was given and just exist freely, as she was. People deserve to be remembered for who they were, outside of what they did for us. 

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