23 July 2015

Poetry Thursday - The Right Word by Imtiaz Dharker


The right word

Outside the door,
lurking in the shadows,
is a terrorist.
Is that the wrong description?
Outside that door,
taking shelter in the shadows,
is a freedom fighter.
I haven't got this right .
Outside, waiting in the shadows,
is a hostile militant.
Are words no more
than waving, wavering flags?
Outside your door,
watchful in the shadows,
is a guerrilla warrior.
God help me.
Outside, defying every shadow,
stands a martyr.
I saw his face.
No words can help me now.
Just outside the door,
lost in shadows,
is a child who looks like mine.
One word for you.
Outside my door,
his hand too steady,
his eyes too hard
is a boy who looks like your son, too.
I open the door.
Come in, I say.
Come in and eat with us.
The child steps in
and carefully, at my door,
takes off his shoes.
       - Imtiaz Dharker
(via the poet's website)

See the poem being performed at bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0110cs6

For those with access to BBC iplayer, Imtiaz chooses her desert island disks and talks about her life here. She grew up in a Lahori household in Glasgow and now divides her time between India, Wales and London.

"When I start making a line on a piece of paper, I don't know if it will become a drawing or a poem" - see some of her drawings here.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Oh my, that took my breath away. Thanks, Margaret, I might never had read that poem if you had not shared it.