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While we are waiting

Syrian poet Amira Abul Husn is one of those who have chosen to remain in the war-torn country, using her pen to bear witness to all that is going on around her. In her poetry, she depicts fragments of everyday life from the horrible realities of Syria. The poem, published in PEN/Opp, is a new addition.

Credits Text: Amira Abul Husn Translation from Arabic: Dina Abul Husn Illustration: Saadia Hussain September 10 2014

The sound of cannons
Remind of books I haven’t read
Of words I haven’t written, stuffed in my head
Of a lover who dumped me, or whom I dumped
I can’t remember
In the sky
Only the stars are shining
While secretly admiring
Everything that’s going on

It happened that I saw
How rain turns into soft snow
And then I saw,
How the soft snow
Turns into light blood stains, covering men’s bodies
Winter, then summer
Then another winter followed by summer
Just like that
Perhaps out of embarrassment,
Spring forgot to come

The news bulletin was not depressing this evening
I have a smile on face,
That resembles falling in love
In my head there’s one song playing over and over again:
“Syria Wants Freedom”
While my heart proved to me that it can still dance

Just to reach you, I have to cross ten checkpoints guarded by twenty soldiers, each carrying a weapon, which name I can’t pronounce without twisting the letters and producing a disfigured word that very much resembles them. They will stare at my ID and return it to me, and while they’re not looking, I’ll scan it quickly with my eyes, just to remind myself of who I am.

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