Segue for My Sisters in Iraq

January 7, 2008
I. The Right to Life

I remember how we danced
In the field with the daffodils
As they grew out of the spring
Sunshine, I did not know
The color of blood
Never noticed the soldiers standing in the city
Before the Americans came
I loved the daffodils.

I was standing
In the garden, I laughed
At their President, when little Raneen
Said that he talked funny.
“Pro-life,” he said--that was all Hassan could catch.
I remember I was waiting
For you, father, I wanted to dance
In the daffodil field.

But, father, you were running when you came home,
And you never ran
Everyone loved you. I remember,
When I was little, they used to call out to you
As you walked home from the Mosque,
With me on your shoulders,
But you were running today.

And the Americans were running
After you, Father?
I thought they were our friends!
You told me to run, to get inside
But I did not, I watched
I watched as gunshots ripped through your body,
I saw them tear through my daffodils,
Yellow splinters shattering the air
I saw you falling,
I saw red
Spill onto my daffodils, I was screaming,
I remembered what you said
“My quiet little Amira, never making a sound…”
Then it was you who never made a sound, Father,
And it was your red blood on the daffodils
Your blood blooming on my hands.

II. Liberty

Spoken in the depths of night, when you, brother, swore
Nobody could hear you, nobody could slip
Their fingers, shadows of seeing,
Beneath your blocked door.
But they did.

And they heard you scream your words,
Praise of God, and shouts of trusts broken
The agonizing shriek of dishonor
To our sisters, our brothers, our fathers and mothers
Our country, our God.
Like so many others, you screamed,
Clutching your gun as though it was the only weapon
That might graze the soldiers’ indignant brows.

The Americans, you said, speak of freedom.
Of speech, you said, they cannot arrest me for speaking!
But the next morning, you were gone.
Our father, our brothers, all wrested from their beds,
Our sisters and mother beaten upon the floor.
And they, they did not speak of you,
Knew nothing of who you were,
Would not say what you, and so many others, had done.

But somewhere, you lay in some prison, beaten and broken
Punished for some prejudice, some speech,
Some crime which you had committed
In a dream that you did not remember.

III. and the Pursuit of….

For the beginning, for the days when I loved the Americans
When white waved from every balcony
Billowed in mother’s burka as we greeted the Americans

For peace,

For surrender.
Blue and red mingled
In the purple on our fingers
“This finger,” you said “This finger is our country,
This is our future…”
But your words were cut short, little brother
As you threw yourself over me,
As mother screamed,
And all the blue in the purple ink soared back up to the sky
Leaving only red
To spread from your white shirt
White, for peace
Only red to cover our fingers

You, brother, your spirit left me
Left with the blue from purple ink
Left me for the sky
And your dream, your future,
Was only red.

They took me to a hospital,
Place of white rooms, where they cleaned the red from my fingers
White was my world then
My future

For surrender.

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writer-in-pearls said...
Jan. 5, 2010 at 6:12 pm
Your poetry is very beautiful but sad. Is it based on your own experience?
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