Found Poem

My Name Is Hiba Nasir

I wasn’t pelting stones
Ten years ago
I didn’t even know what protesting meant
I was Kashmir’s youngest pellet gun victim

Only 20 months old then
I lived with my family
In Shopian
I was playing inside my house
when the army sprayed teargas

All around

Grey smoke entered our home
The air was unbreathable
I started to vomit
My five-year-old brother squirmed

My mother cradled me in her arm
She took my brother by his hand
We tried to flee
But were trapped in the chaos

My mom pulled my brother behind her
She covered my face with her hand
A soldier sprayed pellets at us

One pellet hit my mom’s hand
Two hit my eyes
I screamed, “Muma, tout” [burning]
Blood dripped from my eyes
I passed out

I had started learning to name things


By Rafiq Kathwari