You died a day before the ceasefire.
Another tally they forget
but we remember.
You were born on national day:
an honor they don’t deserve.
They cheer in the city square,
Their planes fly past like vultures,
their fireworks explode like grenades.
They put your name last
on a stone slab
in the middle of the park
like that’s going to stop
the list from growing—
At home we bake you a cake.
Children outside try to steal it,
they haven’t eaten in days.
We give it to them, eventually
and Mama cries in your old room.
Mama plucks the flag from your grave
and throws it into a bag full of weeds.
She crumples onto your tombstone
and doesn’t come home till dusk.
Mama died a year after the ceasefire.

Lijia Liu

Lijia '20 is a semi-cultured heathen who believes sour cream is a kind of yogurt. She would rather spend hours making the computer do her math problems than 30 minutes doing the same things by hand.

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