"Quick Bread"

Hashem Shafik

The planes bombarded the bakeries
the wheat was martyred
then the bread died.
What troubled person 
is chasing the dough?  
In what province, what country
could flour become a fugitive
attacked by bombs and rockets.
On what battlefield, could
food become a means of warfare
and a lesson in genocide?
O' destruction slow down
while you chase our hungry mouths with rockets
in every corner and place.
The hungry displaced on the silk road
looking now for a bit of hope
displaced behind these borders
following their destinies
in the snow passage...
to cross through the muddy tents
to reach the bread,
but the planes are attacking
the bakery and the bread
killing the wheat immediately,
slaughtering flowers
and killing the roots.
Translated from the Arabic by Basma Botros and Aric Reviere. This poem appeared in Al Hayat newspaper.
This poem appeared in Al Jadid, Vol. 17, No. 65, 2011.
Copyright © 2013 AL JADID MAGAZINE