I am one of 80,000*
Though the barbed wire,
I am looking down the road of memory.
Selvam, my Selvam, I am waiting for you
To bring back our lost life.
You grabbed my hand hard and we ran like the wind
Under the shelling rain.
Do you remember, Selvam?
Praying, praying for life, for life with our kids?
They ran with us but so many others flickered and fell
Running non-stop, praying for life, till the rain of shells ended.
For a moment we had thought we saw Freedom
But it was a mirage.
Jasmine flowers wilted, Selvam, with your failing breath.
The white flag you were waving
Fell over your head like a shroud.
I’m looking through barbed wire
Down the road of memory.
Please come soon, Selvam,
I want to die together.
*Sri Lankan Government statistics say that are 80,000 war widows in the North and East of the country, the ex-war zones.
Written by Ajantha Roshani
Translated by Prasanna Ratnayake