On Mother’s Day,
Your mothers were taken hostage instead of you.
On Unemployment Day,
God set up a huge tent for the wake,
and the masses cheered the beloved tyrant.
On Independence Day,
our fathers shed tears of sorrow for France.
And on each Day,
on Oppression Day, on Despair Day, on Hunger Day,
the rose you’ve been seeking, my friend, falls,
and this rose, which we’ll throw into the river,
when we fail to find your grave,
is not the Rose of Freedom.
Translated from the Arabic by Fawaz Azem
The original Arabic version of the poem can be found at