Qleeshayawa

by Choman Hardi

 

‘Qleeshayawa,’ they would say and start running

the old, the young, men and women.

´Qleeshayawa,’ they would say, it’s cracking.

The young men joked about it-

It’s our marathon, it keeps us healthy.

They ran

Sometimes with no expression on their faces,

other times covered with the sweat of fear

running, looking back,

running, looking back,

or joking.

Sometimes it was triggered by a gunshot

or the sight of vicious soldiers

jumping out from their tank into a square.

Other times, accidentally, if somebody ran

they all followed.

Sometimes they would be surrounded by tanks

with nowhere to run

and to stand like a flock of sheep,

to witness the execution of a friend,

to clap and shout:

Long live justice!

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