A brief history of misery by Amirah Al Wassif

A brief history of misery

Among the stones, there was a flower that reached out to me.
Many years ago, I dreamt of the Arabian Nights
When I woke up I found myself laughing
As I sat at the edge of battle
Dressed like a warrior.

I am not a half-person anymore
No matter how society classifies me
No Matter how the world introduces me
I stand in a proud position
Pouring my excitement into the Revolution’s womb.

I run with all my might seeking a door or a window
I find nothing
I type on my Google page
“Freedom”
I have searched many times
But always find no results.

I recall the rooster’s crow in our tales
I wait for its appointment
But nothing happens.
I shout like a child
Who sees her first gorilla.

I moan
But all the women who are hidden under my skin, moan louder.
We are not a family
We are one.
We are tied to each other against the walls of the prison.
It took a very long time to crawl out from under the tunnels,
Climbing the highest trees,
Rubbing our faces with the world’s maps.

Among the stones, a flower reached out to me.
I was reborn with a great motivation to scratch the sky
             No Matter how many people try to limit my power
             No Matter how hard the world fights me.

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Amirah Al Wassif has two poetry collections: for those who don’t know chocolate [Poetic Justice Books & Arts, February 2019] and the illustrated children’s book, The Cocoa Boy and other stories [Poetic Justice Books & Arts, February 2020]. Her poems have appeared in several print and online publications including South Florida Poetry, Birmingham Arts Journal, Hawaii Review, The Meniscus, Chiron Review, The Hunger, Writers Resist, Right Now, and several other publications.

Image credit: A combination of a Muslim woman (Jushey/Cleanpng/Kisspng
for International Woman’s Day/plus applying media filters) and the image of a hopeflower in cracks of the stone (Hope in a Time of Fear: A Letter from Jason Marsden)