Saturday, July 15, 2006

Part 1

It could be worse,
it could be worse,
it could be worse,

I type with one hand
a mantra that has a hard time
believing itself.

My mother tells me,
"Talk to your aunt, lie to her,
tell her her son will be alright.

Tell her you heard on TV
that there'll be a cease-fire
so he could cross back to her.

She'll believe you,
she wants so much to believe.
She's tired of crying."

She hands me the phone,
my throat dries up again;
it's hard to lie to a crying woman.

My mother tells me,
"I'm all out of clean underwear,
I didn't think it'd be so bad.

When I was in my twenties
I could run far," she says,
"with my children flailing under my arms.

But I'm not so young anymore.
Son, don't tell anyone,
but I celebrated thirty a long time ago.

I don't have another war in me;
I didn't think I needed one."
She takes a long puff at her cigarette.

"One can start a new life only once,"
she says, "and I've had mine.
I'll see you in the fall," she says,

"I'll see you in the fall."


_z. said...

ashraf... allah yehmiyoun ya rabb.
Imagine, I had reservations. I was supposed to leave to lebanon today. I had huge plans for this summer.

arch.memory said...

Yes, I was supposed to be returning today, but had to go earlier instead...
Now I am not sure whether to be glad I am not there, or sad that I am not with them...

Scheherazade said...

I am away on a family emergency.

I left the day the strikes began.

And I do think of you every time I hear of more strikes and no peace.

It's not much consolation. But I am thinking of you Ashraf.

arch.memory said...

Yasmin, thank you... At times like these, every thought counts.

katy said...

this isn't even pretending not to be the realest poem you've ever written, ashraf.

i hope your hand is healing well and well, hope. you know.

here's to the thoughts and the hopes.

Erin said...

I don't even know what to say to this one Ashraf, excet that the resignation in the aunt's voice is heart wrenching...

Crunchy Weta said...

I can't imagine fleeing with chidren under my arms. Amazing how resilient humans can be though. I guess the real lesson is to learn the value of peace and struggle to keep it at all costs.
Take care