The home we used to live in had become a cave
smells like garlic
covered with lime and dirt
The wind that enters our home is humid
sticks to the body
and the water is putrid, stinks, full of poisonous bubbles.
That's what you said to me
But my home is not the place
Where the grouse can take refuge
there not only she dies but the soul too.
Thus we were expelled from our homes,
from the house that glowed with life,
dominated by mothers' love
We were driven by the rivers
to their deep streams
We return to where we started, to the rock
when the river lost control of its course
to be crucified next to the spring.
We see the wind choked inside the well
unable to find the shadow of a tree at noon
seeking protection from heat
We had become pawns, manipulated by Satan
driving us to suffering,
filling our hands with burning sands in hot summer.
We are the angels
deprived of light
Our faces have wounds,
injuries of old time
showing the painful tattoos of many places
we were forced to leave
once and for ever.
Translated from the Arabic by Noel Abdulahad
Moayed al-Rawi is a prominent Iraqi author, essayist, poet who lives in Germany.
This poem appeared in Al Jadid, Vol. 10, no. 49 (Fall 2004)
Copyright (c) 2004 by Al Jadid