by Aaliyah Jaleel (Canada)
Audio: "Faded Memory," read by Aaliyah Jaleel
That sun-kissed evening in 1914,
The sky met the horizon melting blue and green.
My heart was grey.
How rude of the sky to project beauty and brightness when
The lightness of my life was being dimmed by such a crisis,
When my brother and father cannot see any horizon,
When their sky only contains black bits of bombs in different sizes.
The war would be quick,
We were promised
Just a short while from August,
Four or five rough months of fighting
For the Central Force demolished.
They broke their promise
“Home before Christmas” was awfully ambitious,
Left families and friends with plans that turned to be fictitious.
Anticipation of the mail brought chewed up fingernails
That stuttered upon the envelopes and letters that entailed
Fingers crossed in hopes that loss would not be written between the lines,
That there’d be signs of quick return so they’d disperse from the front lines.
That my fear came true on the day that two postcards turned into one,
Because my brother, God rest his soul, was a soldier braver than anyone and
My father wrote to me that he would see to the end of this cruel war.
He swore that every shot he took was bringing him closer to me at home.
He never got here.
November eleventh of nineteen eighteen,
hearts beating as they were reading the armistice that would seam
Our torn apart country and our lonely hearted dreams.
We respect the noble win of our veterans
That pioneered with eyes of tears the Canada we now live in.
An embodiment of valour they led our country with pride,
With poppies on our chests, lest we forget how they died.
Aaliyah Jaleel, age 17, is a passionate writer from Pickering, Ontario, who loves writing, sharing, and performing poetry. Dedicated to leadership and community development, Aaliyah enjoys engaging with extracurricular commitments to create change on both a local and global scale. “Faded Memory” depicts the story of a young individual whose world was shaken by the impacts of the First World War, their perspective illustrating the pain of witnessing such an event. The story told is a vivid image of what many experienced in the aftermath of the calamity.
10/15/21, 6:17 PM
This is beautifully written! You are incredibly talented. I'm in awe.
9/23/21, 7:15 PM
The last sentence, "Hush, hush, hush, you're not alone, adds a nice ending to the poem. I like the ambiguity.
8/10/21, 3:55 PM
That was so beautiful
8/4/21, 11:01 AM
Ah Tiffany - I LOVE this piece, and the ending.. it's so powerful and incredibly moving. Well done!
8/4/21, 11:00 AM
Well done Chris! I feel like I am right there in the street.. such a beautiful use of language in this poem.
8/4/21, 10:59 AM
Ah what a beautiful piece.. I can feel the promise in this morning.. like I do on summer mornings where I live. Beautifully read too!
7/30/21, 7:24 PM
7/27/21, 6:01 PM
This is beautiful, I love your use of onomatopoeia
7/23/21, 12:22 PM
7/21/21, 3:37 PM
7/21/21, 1:23 PM
Pain and nostalgia conveyed beautifully!
7/21/21, 8:35 AM
This is an amazing poem! The mixed feelings we have when we leave our home or city we grew is beautifully portrayed