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It was the days of Kahrizak. Along with mothers looking for their missing beloved children, we had gathered outside Evin prison. Shouting “Alaho Akbar!” As loud as we could.
A soldier approached. “You must leave this area,” he said.
One of the mothers looked him straight in the eyes and said, “We won’t go. We want our children to hear our voices.”
And the soldier responded: “They can’t hear; they are being held underground a few kilometers from here.”
How many kilometers? They are stuck underground, these bravest of the world’s miners. Ask the engineers who saved the Chilean miners not to put away their machines. Tell them there are other miners stuck not seven hundred meters below ground, like the Chileans, but several kilometers, in the dark, bereft of food and water, not a sound from those they love.
Tell the engineers we are digging the earth with our bear hands, tell them our fingers are bleeding, our ribs are broken from the blows from guards, we have screamed so loud and so often that our throats are now bruised, we have wept so often and shouted “Alaho Akbar!” so many times that our eyes are losing luster and our voices have begun to sound like the pangs of death.
Tell them, and tell the kind people of the world who followed every moment of the miners’ odyssey and showed their joys with collective sighs of relief, and tell the brave miners who defied and defeated death—tell them that, across the globe, thousands of miners are caught several kilometers under earth. They are the miners of peace and freedom.
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But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.
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