A Tap on the Roof by Hafsah Aneela Bashir

I am not a silent poet

The warning scud skirts the roof
 ..
 ..
58 seconds to run
 ..
58 seconds to run
 ..
58 seconds to run
 ..
 ..
Slah Nuwasrah gathers his nephews
Nidal wide-eyed
Muhammad screams in his cot
The pregnant wife frozen to her bed
Corner of the quilt chewed wet by clamped teeth
 ..
 ..
48 seconds to run
 ..
48 seconds to run
 ..
48 seconds to run
 ..
 ..
Serrated edge of a warning phone call
Spreads panic
Hana frantically searches the yard
‘Where is Muhammad Malaka?’
Wheels of a little bike spin to a halt
 ..
 ..
 ..
38 seconds to run
 ..
38 seconds to run
 ..
38 seconds to run
 ..
 ..
Basema sips her coffee
Thirsty from today’s long fast
Husband, Mahmud has his feet up on the table – again
She lovingly chides him and says ‘Don’t, the children will do…

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