‘Cairo Slums Blues’ by Ahmed Nader Gretly

A pale homemade dress hung to dry in the blazing sun;

It’s original color not quite clear but presumably purple.

That stain that never faded, a spot of innocence…

I closed my eyes and remembered the night she wore it,

Childlike with that smile of hers.

He threw promises of love and eternal bliss;

She believed his words and followed him to the train-yard.

An invisible moon hovered over them as they entered

An old rusted cart, abandoned for years and years.

He didn’t bother taking her dress off,

She couldn’t wait to feel loved.

Right there beneath a dark sky, a man stole a girl’s innocence.

But how can love find it’s way through the Cairo Slums?

Where human lay on top of another, like cracked bricks;

They bleed.

A grayish sleeveless undershirt hung to dry in the blazing sun,

It’s original color not quite clear but presumably white.

That rip that was never mended, a tear of hope…

I closed my eyes and remembered that morning he wore it,

As he maneuvered through downtown traffic

Trying to make easy money, as ordered by his jobless father.

A child of seven or eight running around with beads of

Sweat rolling down his tiny face.

Mr. Policeman grabbed him by his shirt, slapped him around,

Beat him to the ground for approaching Mrs. Businesswoman in

Her air-conditioned car.

But how can this child find hope for the future in the Cairo Slums?

Where humans lay on top of another, like cracked bricks;

They bleed.

Let me take you down to the Cairo Slums,

Where people are animals in their nests

Of carton-paper, waiting for the big bad wolf,

To huff and to puff and to blow their lives away.

But soon you’ll realize that evil’s not born but raised,

That hate is brewed, and money is everything.

Let us disregard this urban jungle under a glass jar,

Let us use them for advertising or marketing our products,

Products they could never afford.

O’ what irony, what strife.

The girl and the child never had a chance,

but they deserve one.

They bleed.

They bleed.

So without further a adieu,

Welcome to the Cairo Slums.

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About Ahmed Gretly

Ahmed Nader Gretly. Construction/Site Engineer, fiction writer, poet, psychopath, researcher, a book addict, and a daydreamer from Cairo, Egypt. Currently doing Construction Project Management, MSc, at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
This entry was posted in Non-fiction, Poetry, Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to ‘Cairo Slums Blues’ by Ahmed Nader Gretly

  1. Garrett Macfalda says:

    I really, really enjoyed this poem. The refrain of “Where humans lay on top of another, like cracked bricks; They bleed.” makes the whole poem for me. I’ll be following your work!

  2. Budz says:

    Amazing descriptions, Ahmed.
    The pictures are vivid in my head, and the flow of events is deeply touching…
    *Clap clap*

  3. Mai mostafa says:

    This is one of the best poems I have ever read.
    You were born to write, my friend, and you sure do inspire me.

    Can’t wait for more. xx

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