Of East African descent, 20 year old Siddika was born, raised and resides in Edmonton, Province of Alberta, Canada. Her name means "Friend" when translated from Arabic


It is quiet in this dark room,
And yet I hear cries of the wounded and terrified,
And gunshots from all directions.
I feel pain where there is no pain,
My throat thick although it has received no wound.
I fear leaving this room and facing the world.
For people will not see me as the soldier I was,
But the cowardly man that I have become.
I remain afraid to answer the door or phone
For fear of meeting an old officer.
I feel weak and of no use anymore,
With a mind full of hyperactivity,
Yet a performance showing no ability.
War has made me weak,
And I try to forget it ever happened.
Yet, the memories are so loud
That I could scream.
If war be hell,
Than what be this state I am in.
All I can do is pray that God ends this disturbed silence.

©Copyright May 9, 2005 by Siddika Hirji

This poem was the inspiration for The Recluse
©Copyright May 10, 2005 by Colin F. Jones

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