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For Your Lanes, My Country by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

For your lanes, my country,
I can sacrifice all I have
But the custom these days is
No one walks with head held high.
The lovers looking for each other must sneak out
Afraid of life and limb, and
For them, a new order of the day now:
The bricks and stones are imprisoned
and the stray dogs free to roam.
For the many apologists of tyranny.
it’s enough that a few of your dear friends
have turned into power-seekers, judges and plaintiffs.
Who can you ask to represent you,
Who can you ask justice from?
But people do survive, away from you,
worry about you, day and night but manage somehow.
When the prison gratings darken,
My heart sees stars sprinkled in your hair,
When I see light through these gratings
I know your face would be bathed in dawn.
In any case,
I live in imagined days and nights,
I exist in the shadow of the prison walls.
This is how people fight oppression,
their ritual isn’t new, nor are my ways new.
This is how we always grew flowers in fire,
their defeat isn’t new, our victory isn’t new.
That’s why I don’t complain to the Heaven,
or make myself sad thinking about you.
We are apart today, but tomorrow
we’ll be together;
separation for one night isn’t much,
What if my rivals are riding high today
their reign of a few days isn’t much.
Those who remain true to you
understand what the daily turmoil really means:

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