Rayvon Pettis – Lailly and Abdullah
Genre Country

Lailly and Abdullah

Abdullah is a student at Balkh University
Forty miles south of the Uzbek line
Lost his heart to a girl named Lailly
With Pashtun eyes and a crooked little smile

Late in the evening, they climbed the scaffolding
Smoked cigarettes in the dying light
"Hazara man from the Bamiyan land
Who were you before tonight?"

"Well they killed my mother and they raped my sisters
Father died in the civil war
I hid in the well and when the bleeding stopped
I didn't want to be a soldier anymore

"So I moved to the city to get an education
Find a profession where no one dies
I was trying to paint the big blue mosque
In Mazar-i when I saw your eyes."

"I lost my father in the civil war too,"
Lailly says with a sigh and another smoke
"Mother said he was a beautiful man
With a Kandahar laugh on a Tajik joke

"Late some nights I almost remember
The way he held me in the morning sun
Singing 'Lailly, Lailly, my pretty little girl
Your beautiful life has just begun.'"
Well there is no cover for an educated Pashtun
Woman in the Mullah Ali's eyes
He followed them down when they were crossing the river
Shot three times and he missed twice

"Well you wanna have hope but you gotta be real,"
With a snap of a glove, the doctor said
"I'm sure Abdullah was a really nice guy
And now he's just one more Afghan dead."

But she waited through the night
And waited through the morning
On the third day, he woke up from a dream

The first thing he saw was Pashtun eyes
The first thing he heard was Lailly screaming
"Allahu Akbar up in the heaven
Keeping fools like you alive," she said

The bullet missed his heart by a good three inches
In another two weeks, he was out of bed
Lailly and Abdullah, they're doing alright
Got a tiny little house where the children wait

He's working every day as a welder's apprentice
Putting steel plates on the Hairatan gate
In the cold winter night, she holds him closer
Dreaming in Dari til the morning light
Thinking life is a terrifying beautiful thing
Twenty miles north of the Uzbek line

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