When I was thirteen,
My grandmother spoke of men whose shadows,
Like hawks, circled unsuspecting borders,
Carrying weapons bigger than their bodies.
They would lay siege to the cities within me,
Threatening the treasures I held dear.
When I was eighteen,
One shadow found its mark,
Burning my insides hot,
Reducing the homes on my flesh into rubble.
He laughed at the conquest,
His voice taunting my crumbling walls:
“Why so open, this border of yours?”
My grandmother’s words came with a plea:
To never let the shadows claim my land.
To use their own fire against them –
Turn them to ash.
But my grandmother forgot to teach me one vital art,
How to turn them to dust –
Without my city falling to the ground.
Thank you for taking the time to read this poem. This is the second out of thirteen.