I always write poetry about love, but this time I decided to write about war. Love and war are often thought of as two completely opposite things but their existence is often intertwined in one way or another.
I am standing on the grass
Engulfed by the silent past,
Red letters spilt on white stone
Tell us the story of forgotten bones.
They were arrested, weakened, broken,
Their spirts crushed, their lives stolen,
Buried here where no one would see,
No chance to know how their lives could be.
A mother lost her son,
Her husband, brother, cousin and so on;
Her neighbour lost her dignity,
And she’s still searching for her humanity.
There’s no mercy or peace in war,
People were using it to settle scores;
The normal restraints are lost
No one notices the human cost.
And the human cost is big and real,
It’s something that cannot be concealed;
Memorials are a testimony to that,
People’s lives are reduced to a plaque.
The summer village has sheep grazing
Children playing whilst the sun is blazing,
But ghosts still live in these homes
Their names only living on the stone.
But the survivors still have to live
And some of them want to forgive
Because hatred can devour you whole
Leaving your body without a soul.
But I met a man with a generous soul,
Who had learned to trust and become whole
And I admire his will and kind heart
Because forgiving is the hardest task.
Author: Medina Čarkadžić
Source: Project on Peacebuilding – Bosnia 2019
* This article in form of an personal reflection was published on the program Youth and Democracy 2019 which is supported by forumZFD in BiH. On a weeklong course youth had the opportunity to engage in the historical and political context of the processes of change in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995. Students have participated in workshops designed to expand their understanding and knowledge of peacebuilding and its challenges, in addition to guided site visits in the Prijedor region.