By Fiza Pathan
I know Pain very well as, I live with pain
Ever since I can seem to remember
She who was named Pain is my twin sister
Whom I have nursed all these years
With tenderness and deep compassion.
We read the same books and debate
On issues which have a rhetorical tune.
But she being the younger is not
As strong as I am, but I can act as
Legion of hope against her perpetual twilight.
She eats very little and tastes no water so must
I inject into her what she may not take orally.
When I puncture her delicate grey vein
I press my lips tight, as if the sting
Did scrape my heart into two.
She suffers from fever this young Pain who is my sibling
So I comb her long matted hair to avoid the painful knots.
She only feeds when I am around and frets
For my safety even when she knows I’ll never go far.
I take Pain for many short trips
Over the hills and towards ancient chapels.
But whatever I may do and whatever I am try,
Pain does not let go of her anguishing cry
Towards the fashioner of her calamity.
I put my dear Pain to bed and lie beside her,
She is comforted by the warmth of my presence
While the devils of her nightmares
Haunt her with lusty claws.
I read to her as she resides in her opium dream,
I am aware she hallucinates about the
Man she loves even in her drugged state.
My family says she is but a melancholic burden
Who must be cast away from the ancestral home.
But as true as my affection permits me a teardrop to shed,
How can I abandon a childhood companion
Who was with me even before the beginning?
Admit I must that she loves a man to insanity
Whom she does not really know and has not met.
This says the herbal healer is all plain childish infatuation,
No one can love deeply a person never seen nor known truly.
To him therefore I turn with red swollen eyes and ask plainly,
Have thou seen God or has both thee met face to face?
If not then why do you renounce your family in his name?
Why is your love for this invisible God too not
A plain childish infatuation-for no one has seen the unnamable
Nor drank green tea in his presence.
Hush my little Pain tomorrow is but another day,
Where we will be awakened
By the laughter of innocent children
Who will climb upon our woes.
They will remind us what we have not failed to do,
Let’s go ahead and fulfill our duty
You Pain and me.