Lovers of asparagus, alive
Son I have. Your hands bulge
scraped hall uttering
assalamu alaikums to the young
patients from the UAE, their heads sagging
to the side, their bodies a shrine
to tumors, husks of overgrown cells,
the chemo fountain. One boy
stares through a sieve
of darkness, hewn around dark-gray clouds. Gate of Peace "I have so many sons withering,"
I whisper to the Chinese elm, as news
of the man whose body is eating itself,
disputes with the bresola on crisp baguette
that I'm eating in a garden
among the flung-out
blue jays and limping Daddy long legs.
No hymns left;
only a small neck
the sun gnarls through.
About this poem:
"The poem was inspired by Palestinian hunger striker Samer Issawi's moral fortitude in the face of draconian detention. The rapid growth of children, the mediocrity and spontaneity of springtime, and a diminishing mother's role in her child's life are juxtaposed against larger tragedies such as death from disease and death from hunger."
Deema K. Shehabi
|Copyright © 2013 by Deema K. Shehabi. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on March 10, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.|