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Asian Poetry Review

What Once Was

Upneet Kaur Aujla


A divide.

A severance.

A partition.


What once was:

Light-hearted laughter,

Streets filled with frolic,

Everyday life.




Inability to seek,

A foreshadowing of sudden death.


It was a sudden transition into

the unexpected becoming the harsh reality.


It used to be:

Peaceful coexistence,


Mutual Understanding.


Now it is:


Repeated Violence,



Friendships turned to become the sudden enemy,

leaving there to be nowhere to seek a home.


It was a house with:

Flourishing plants climbing the walls,

Colorful handcrafted furniture,

Rooms filled with the harvest of the season.


It became a house that was:

Invaded by force,

Diminished, stripped of its memories,

Settled with the chaotic irony of what once was.


Something crafted with such care,

all destroyed in the light of a “positive” change.


What once was:

One united force,

One nation,

One common goal.


Ended with:

Two nations,

Two sides appeased,

The third excluded.


The partition,

A positive for two,

But a life-altering situation,

For one: Sikhs.


India: a nation that fought for the independence of imperialist rule,

only to implement their own injustice


Aneesah Ahmed

See the trees?

 The dead leaves fall, but it isn’t a tragedy.

 They release the burden of useless weight and allow space for new growth.

 In the same way;

 everything we cling to, may not be valuable to us. 

Pluck away the unnecessary, the old and unneeded.

 Make room for renewal. 



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