How the war tamed me?
I’ve been raised by a ghost,
who used to spin around the tombstones twice
each war. I am the daughter of dust and blood.
My eyes sweep the broad streets seeking the light.
I sleep wide-eyed covered with darkness, shivering
from the cold—ice between my shoulders, never melting.
I call my family through my dreams,
see my mother walking on her knees toward
heaven. Then with wings like a butterfly.
I’ve been raised by a nightmare, which pushes me
to nowhere. I’m surrounded by bodies of the dead
holding a ticking bomb.
I wonder why I am here; I wait
to go back to my mother’s womb.
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: Painting of a hijab (DeviantArt/nysahanny)