After all this time,
I still remember her
The most
my doll, my first doll
Made by my grandma
As a gift for Eid

Black woolen hair
Sack of rice body
Filled with cotton
Pink dress with a small white apron
“She feels what you feel,
that’s why her face is blank”
grandma said

Laila was my friend,
my only friend
we hopped scotched together
Read stories, swung on trees
Laila and me didn’t understand
The big world
we just knew that we were here
For each other

Laila fought my fears
“it’s just thunder!”
“men in ugly green uniform will go away soon”
“daddy will come back soon”
“Mommy is crying because of the onions”

I gave her safety
“if we have to run,
I will take you”
“I will never let anyone take you away from me”
“You are my best friend!
“I love you,”

But bad things happen
I was woken up
And taken from my bed
We ran to the sea
“But Laila!”
“We will come back for her”
mama said

That night Laila slept alone
In their bed
Laila was waiting her friend
From that night
Laila had a different name
There was no thunder anymore,
Laila remained blank


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