To Whom Does The Homeland Belong?

By Abd al-Wahhab-al-Bayati

To whom does the homeland belong?
the mercenary killer or the jailer?
o' my lady
or does it belong to
the rain man?
Nazik, Sayyab, and Jawahiri?*
or to the man who steals
bread, the medicine, our homeland?

_

(*) Reference to Three leading Iraqi poets: Badr Shakir
al-Sayyab (1926-1964), Muhammad Mahdi al- Jawahiri
(1900-1997) and Nazik al- Mala’ikah (1923-2007)

This Poem appeared  in Al Jadid Vol. 5 no.  28, 1999

Translated from the Arabic by Salih J. Altoma

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