Relate It's a Remergency Street Kids

I took a chance in asking them to jump and shout

and wow! I was electrified.

Their arms, legs and faces released energy,

as if they were astronauts

breaking free from a difficult Earth.

Four Afghan Street Kids Fly (1)

“What? Jump? Why?”

They were skeptical but eager,

and soon the yard rang with laughter

and surprise.

One, two, three…

Four Afghan Street Kids Fly (2)

Their hesitance choked on a few breaths,

then,

they took off,

bursting all over the place

beyond their young vulnerable selves.

Four Afghan Street Kids Fly (3)

Farzad’s hundred worries,

already nesting in his keen eyebrows,

were teased out of his chest,

slung above his knees by a scarf,

and flung like rockets.

Towards the sky.

Four Afghan Street Kids Fly (4)

Matin’s father could have been released from prison

if he had paid a bribe.

“I have to work…

He’s ‘gone’ for another year and a half.”

It was a road traffic accident

that replaced their family’s poverty

with desperate destitution.

Four Afghan Street Kids Fly (5)

When asked about what he wished to learn about peace,

Tufan said, “Tell me about past wars.”

He is now a carpenter,

already engaged to a relative

who stays in Nangahar,

where the ‘war on terrorism’ is still blazing

despite its poor ‘report card’.

Nobody bothers, so history won’t bother either.

Four Afghan Street Kids Fly (6)

Su’ood, opening himself up to the air,

or falling back on the mountains.

Anything, anything but the sea,

‘cos that is where his cousin, Ibrahim,

drowned,

unable to breath in, or out.

A previously naughty Su’ood

became reticent overnight.

Four Afghan Street Kids Fly (7)

It’s important

that we are together,

even if only for a while.

Though our blended voices

may still be unheard,

we discover ourselves,

we recognize one another’s pain.

We arise.

Four Afghan Street Kids Fly (8)

Doesn’t the human family see it on their faces?

Pashtun, Uzbek, Hazara, Tajik.

The resistance.

The resilience.

Dignity, and tears.

The understanding.

#Enough! Let's Be Friends Ready

The older volunteers learn

that if kids can love,

so can they.

They can undo their angst,

feel deep in,

and reach out to the world.

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