Aleppo – Sanam Sharma


I write this

to that enthusiastic archaeologist who shall

one day stumble upon these ruins.

As you diligently dust off time from the

remnants of this city one day, it’s crumbling veneers

may not be truthful enough with you. For they

may let you in on only half the tale.


These ruins

may brag about the glory that

once lit up this town. Willing only to

reveal shades of preserved affluence studded

through its collapsing vestiges.


So if half-truths don’t kill your curiosity,

I urge you to listen closely to the silence

of these ruins, for it is lush with stories.


Place your ears

next to the friable walls before they fall

in a heap too. For they will let out the screams,

that remain frozen inside, for death came

unexpectedly that night, to those who lived

there, depriving them of a chance, to let out a shriek.


Walk a mile

or two, through the dusty lanes of these ruins.

Be warned though as you take this stroll

you may run out of breath, for you walk through curdled

blood. Blood, when it was not stale, was

callously cut loose from throbbing veins.

Dripped in the agony of helpless parents,

clueless orphans.


As you wander

through the ruins, they may haunt you too. Itching

to befriend you and share the darkest of all

their secrets.

There are half-told lullabies that echo

through these ruins each night.

Told a long time ago by a father to his kids,

hoping they would fall asleep,

before death knocked that night.


So, one day as you sit next to these ruins,

brushing away the dust off them,

be gentle with your strokes,

for these ruins hide wounds


that continue to simmer under the scabs.



Sanam Sharma is a writer of Indian origin, residing in Melbourne, Australia. He has authored two poetry collections: ‘Tamed Words’ (Authors Press, India) and an e-book of short poems: ‘Molten Eternities’ (Amazon). Sanam also blogs on Huffington Post, India. (