The Union

The Union by Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi

Once upon a time, a man and a woman crossed each other’s paths,
and fell instantly in love.

And so they ran, in opposite directions.

The woman came to a lake, and she began to cry.
‘There has been a war in my womb,’ she said
‘There has been a war in my womb
What can I do?’

And all her sisters came
And dried her tears
And all her ancestors came
And joined in her prayer.

And he, the man,
He sat across the lake
Listening
Head bowed
And he tended to her
Warming her when she was cold
And cooling her when she was hot
For a thousand years.

When she was ready, she went to him
But the man, he was hurling logs into a fire
‘They have hardened my heart,’ he raged
‘They have hardened my heart
I cannot feel a thing.’
And all his brothers came
And they embraced him
And all his ancestors came
And they begged for forgiveness.

And she, the woman,
She sat across the fire
Listening
Head bowed
And she tended to him
Cooling him when he was hot
And warming him when he was cold
For a thousand years

Then, and only then, could they meet
And when they did, they made a garden
Where seeds were planted
And all kinds of flowers grew

But they did not forget.
And so, on this garden,
They dug a lake
And they built a fire

And they learned how to swim
And to walk on coal

And they told the children stories
Reminding them always
Of the endless lake
And the raging fire.

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About the Author

  1. Avatar Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi (1 story )

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    Ayesha writes reviews, short stories, plays, poetry, and essays. Her work has been staged and published widely. She’s from Karachi and lives in London.

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